Many studies in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that eating less fiber (from fruits, vegetables, 100% whole grains, and legumes) more saturated fat (from red meat, animal proteins, and cheese), and more added sugar (in processed foods) is associated with lighter, less restorative, and more disrupted sleep.
Even a single day of greater saturated fat intake and lower fiber can influence sleep.
Below Physio Logic’s Clinical Nutritionist, Michelle Miller, MSACN; and Nutritional Educator & Registered Dietitian, Rachel Naar, RD, share five foods that help you sleep by supporting serotonin and melatonin (the hormone that regulates sleep, wakefulness, and circadian rhythms) levels naturally to help enhance sleep leading to a more restful and productive you!
- Many tree nuts are great sources of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps create serotonin and melatonin
2. Tart Cherries
- High in melatonin
- Studies show that volunteers who ate these cherries for seven days had significant sleep efficiency and elevated melatonin levels
- Rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants
- High antioxidant foods are thought to promote oxidation of free radicals and help promote higher levels of serotonin
- Rich in calcium, green leafy vegetables are helpful in the creation of melatonin in the brain
5. Chamomile Tea
- Rich in glycine, which relaxes nerves and muscles
- A mild sedative
Incorporating these foods that help you sleep into your diet or sleep hygiene routine will help you to get a restful night’s sleep. If you’d like to learn more about how proper nutrition can promote wellness, contact our Clinical Nutrition Department. Just fill out the form below.