How many times have you heard the phrase: I need my cup of coffee to function?
Many times for sure. Even right now, you might be craving a nice refreshing cup of coffee to wake your brain cells.
Many people have experienced how different types of food and drinks affect their energy and attention.
According to Sleepfoundation.org, as many as 35% of American adults suffer from symptoms of insomnia, which include having trouble falling asleep every night, waking up in the middle of the night, inability to take a nap even if you’re tired, and frequently feeling irritable.
Is there a silver bullet for fighting off insomnia?
Afraid not, but you can try and consider these five foods that researchers and nutrition experts are vouching for!
Kiwifruit is rich in vitamins and minerals, most notably vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, and folate.
Research has pointed out that consuming kiwi can improve sleep. In a study mentioned on SleepFoundation.org, people who ate two kiwis an hour before bedtime could fall asleep much faster, sleep more, and have better overall sleep quality.
Though it’s still unknown why kiwis may help with sleep, researchers believe that it could have something to do with their antioxidant properties, their ability to solve folate deficiencies, and their role in inducing high serotonin concentrations.
2. Fatty Fish
A study published in 2016* found that fatty fish may be a good option for better sleep. The study concluded that those participants with the highest vitamin D status (highest fish intake) had shorter actual wake time, better sleep efficiency, better daily functioning, and better sleep quality.
It’s also important to mention that fatty fish also contain other essential nutrients like selenium, iodine, and proteins. Hence, further investigation is required to gain more insight into the specific underlying mechanisms responsible for the health effects of fatty fish consumption.
*St-Onge MP, Mikic A, Pietrolungo CE. Effects of Diet on Sleep Quality. Adv Nutr. 2016 Sep 15;7(5):938-49. doi: 10.3945/an.116.012336. PMID: 27633109; PMCID: PMC5015038.
The Nut family, aka almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and cashews, are often considered elixirs for sleep.
Although the exact amounts can differ, nuts contain melatonin along with other essential minerals, including magnesium and zinc that are crucial to many bodily processes:
- Magnesium helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function, keeps bones strong, and assists the heart in keeping a steady beat.
- Zinc is required for your immune system to function correctly. It also plays a role in cell division, cell growth, and wound healing.
Furthermore, a clinical trial using supplements* concluded that a combination of melatonin, magnesium, and zinc helped older adults who have insomnia improve their sleeping patterns.
*Rondanelli M, Opizzi A, Monteferrario F, Antoniello N, Manni R, Klersy C. The effect of melatonin, magnesium, and zinc on primary insomnia in long-term care facility residents in Italy: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 Jan;59(1):82-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03232.x. PMID: 21226679.
- Dark Chocolate
Besides providing you with rich antioxidants, dark chocolate also causes a rise in serotonin levels when consumed. This neurotransmitter will make you feel relaxed and stress-free in no time.
Though many people consume it in bars, there are other ways you can eat this delectable treat.
Some prefer to whip out a dark chocolate hot cocoa drink, while others like to bake cakes or brownies.
Speaking of brownies, if you are into the cannabis culture, you can definitely incorporate dark chocolate into a few recipes or order them from wellness sites. When you think about cbd olive oil is a sure-fire way to let your nerves calm down before escaping to wonderland!