It’s not just about avoiding caffeine or other stimulants during the day. What you eat in the evening can affect how restful or restless your night is. For good, sound sleep, Susie Rucker, nutritional therapist at Body With Soul, recommends eating foods that are rich in tryptophan. The amino acid raises levels of serotonin, which is needed to produce the hormone melatonin that regulates our sleep-wake cycle.
Tryptophan-rich foods include turkey, oats, yogurt, eggs, fish, tofu, chickpeas, almonds, and sunflower and pumpkin seeds. One way to give your melatonin levels a natural boost is to get 15 minutes of sunlight every morning – it’ll boost your mood too.
Another sleep inducer, magnesium, is present in foods such as green, leafy vegetables, chickpeas, almonds, cherries, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and whole grains like buckwheat and wholewheat bread, and oats. “Also, try limiting your sugar intake as it causes the body to excrete magnesium through the kidneys,” says Susie.
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