Four Foods to Improve Your Sleep Quality

Do you want to sleep better? In this article, we talk about some foods that can help you do just that.
Four Foods to Improve Your Sleep Quality

Last update: 12 November, 2021

The quality of your rest is based, in a fundamental way, on your life habits – in what you know, popularly, as routines. Regular exercise, meditation, and disconnecting before going to bed promote rest. However, now, it seems that there are also certain foods capable of improving the quality of sleep.

Nevertheless, you should remember that these foods only play this particular role when they form part of a varied and balanced diet. Otherwise, you might experience a deficit of certain micronutrients that could negatively affect your rest, as well as the correct functioning of your body.

Foods to improve the quality of sleep

Try to eat the following foods at dinner or just before going to bed in a moderate quantity to enjoy a more restful and better quality of sleep. In this way, you’ll be able to perform better the next day.

Walnuts

Nuts are a source of tryptophan, an amino acid that’s essential for the synthesis of serotonin, a key neurotransmitter in the process of sleep. This is evidenced by research published in the journal Nutrients. Indeed, it states that including foods with a high concentration of this substance shortly before bed will improve the quality of sleep.

Of course, you shouldn’t go overboard with nuts. That’s because, despite being rich from a nutritional point of view, they’re also extremely calorific. For this reason, exceeding consumption could generate an imbalance in your energy balance. This could translate into worse rest and an increase in weight in the medium-long term.

Walnuts

Chocolate

Chocolate contains many antioxidants. These are capable of neutralizing the formation of free radicals and their subsequent accumulation in your body’s tissues. In addition, according to a study published in Nutrition, this food has the power to help regulate your body’s biological clock, which means a better night’s sleep.

It’s essential to take care of your hormonal circadian rhythms to ensure that certain of your physiological processes are carried out optimally. Otherwise, you could experience inefficiencies in the medium term, leading to the development of complex disorders. Cocoa can help prevent these problems. However, you must choose a variety of chocolate with little sugar and high vegetable content.

Woman eating chocolate

Salmon

Salmon is a source of unsaturated fatty acids, of the omega-3 series. These nutrients help regulate inflammatory mechanisms, which improves the quality of sleep. When inflammation gets out of control, pain and migraines are more likely to appear. Both situations make good rest difficult. For this reason, it’s necessary to include unsaturated lipids on a regular basis in your diet.

However, it’s not only salmon that’s a source of these nutrients. In fact, all oily fish, extra virgin olive oil, and avocado have a high concentration of omega-3. On the other hand, it’s advisable to limit the use of other vegetable oils, such as seed oils. These provide more omega-6 than omega-3, which could be counterproductive in reducing inflammation.

Woman eating salmon

Potato

Potatoes are sources of carbohydrates, although they also contain a certain amount of tryptophan. Their consumption in moderate doses prior to rest could improve the quality of sleep. They also provide a lot of fiber, so they satisfy hunger. This feeling is key to avoiding waking up in the middle of the night.

Of course, when consuming potatoes it’s essential to pay attention to the cooking methods. Therefore, you should prioritize the boiled and the baked ones, avoiding the fried ones. That’s because the latter provide too many calories as well as fatty acids of the trans type, with inflammatory characteristics.

Cooked potatoes

Include foods in your diet to improve sleep quality

As we’ve mentioned, it’s possible to improve the quality of your sleep by increasing the presence in your diet of certain foods. Nevertheless, you must compliment your good nutritional guidelines with other healthy habits. For example, exercising daily will mean you’re more tired when you get to bed, making it easier for you to rest.

In the same way, there are certain infusions or substances that can contribute to falling asleep more easily. The most widely used of all of them is melatonin, which also has a powerful antioxidant effect on the body. Furthermore, it may help prevent the development of certain complex disorders.

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  • Binks, H., E Vincent, G., Gupta, C., Irwin, C., & Khalesi, S. (2020). Effects of Diet on Sleep: A Narrative Review. Nutrients12(4), 936. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12040936
  • Oishi, K., Okauchi, H., Yamamoto, S., & Higo-Yamamoto, S. (2020). Dietary natural cocoa ameliorates disrupted circadian rhythms in locomotor activity and sleep-wake cycles in mice with chronic sleep disorders caused by psychophysiological stress. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.)75-76, 110751. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2020.110751