You’ve got that report due tomorrow morning, followed by lunch with an important client and a huge presentation in the afternoon. But no amount of counting sheep/meditation/pillow mists will get you nodding off.
Sound about right?
Well you’re not alone, with 77% of Brits struggling to hit those Z’s.*
Good news, a plant-based diet could be the answer to getting decent shuteye.
‘Many foods that form the cornerstone of a vegetarian diet contain high levels of sleep-inducing chemicals such as serotonin, tryptophan, and melatonin, all of which have a positive impact on your quality of sleep.’, explains Neil Robinson, Sealy UK’s resident sleep expert.
It’s no wonder the likes of wellness guru’s Gwyneth Paltrow and Linda McCartney swear by a plant-based way of life.
But if you don’t want to commit to a vegetarian lifestyle overhaul, here are 8 sleep-expert-recommend vegetables which you introduce to your diet to induce sleep.
Did you know kale has 150 mg of calcium per 100 grams, while milk has 125 mg? So, adding some of the green leafy vegetable could be a good way of getting the natural sleep aid; a calcium deficiency in your diet may make it difficult to fall asleep.
Calcium contains tryptophan, the amino acid that your body uses to create melatonin – a hormone that helps induce sleep.
If you find yourself reaching for a pre-bedtime snack, grab a handful of almonds.
Like bananas, almonds contain both tryptophan and muscle-relaxant, magnesium. Almonds always have a high protein content which will keep you feeling full all night.
Bananas are useful when battling insomnia due to their naturally high levels of amino acid, tryptophan.
In addition to the sedative effects that this produces, bananas also contain high levels of magnesium and potassium which work to relax the muscles, promoting a good night’s sleep.
Oats are great for keeping your heart healthy and also contain a wide array of vitamins and minerals that collectively work to encourage relaxation.
As a natural source of melatonin – the hormone that regulates our sleeping and waking cycles – oats are guaranteed to help you drift off into a peaceful sleep.
So why not switch it up and end your day with a bowl of milky porridge?
Due to its high magnesium content, avocado could be exactly what you need to drift off into a deep sleep.
Research shows that magnesium decreases levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone” which can increase irritability and therefore impede your quality of sleep.
Like oats, cherries are extremely high in melatonin.
In addition to promoting weight loss and being a delicious snack, cherries contain antioxidants like anthocyanins, which work alongside melatonin to help maintain a deeper sleep for longer.
7) Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea increases the levels of amino acid glycine in the body which causes our muscles to relax. Additionally, the anti-anxiety effects of glycine mean that chamomile tea is excellent for de-stressing.
We recommend adding a teaspoon of honey to your chamomile tea for that sweet kick.
Peanuts and peanut butter are high in niacin, a form of vitamin B3 which aids the production of serotonin – the hormone responsible for our moods.
Rich in good fats, peanuts and peanut butter will keep you fuller for longer, meaning you won’t wake up hungry in the night.
Finally, if bad sleeping habits become chronic and begin to impact your mental health or overall happiness, visit your GP.
Still struggling to nod off? Many swear by baths before bed. Here are our bath essentials to de-stress.