Guest Blog: 7 Healthy Snacks For A Good Night’s Sleep

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Nothing sets you up for the day ahead like a good night’s sleep, but how can you improve your quality of sleep and are there foods that you can add to your diet to facilitate better sleep? If you regularly wake up during the night or you struggle to get to sleep, it’s likely that you will feel tired, irritable and lethargic the next day. A lack of sleep can have a real impact on the way you perform at work or school, a well as your relationships with others. 

Here are some healthy eating ideas to help you get a good night’s sleep:

  1. Smoked salmon
Smoked salmon is rich in omega oils and essential fatty acids, and it also contains vitamin B6, which is involved in the synthesis of melotonin, a hormone which induces sleep. Smoked salmon with cream cheese on a bagel or wholemeal crackers with salmon are excellent choices for a light lunch or an evening snack before bed.

  1. A glass of cherry juice or a handful of cherries
Cherries and cherry juice are rich in melotonin and studies show that people who struggle to sleep found it much easier to fall asleep after drinking tart or sour cherry juice. Cherries are also rich in antioxidants, which have benefits for your overall health, as well as your skin. Cherries are one of few foods which actually contain melotonin.

  1. Yoghurt
If you fancy something sweet after your dinner, yoghurt is a great choice. Yoghurt is an excellent source of calcium and studies have shown that calcium deficiency can make it more difficult to get to sleep. Calcium is also really important for maintaining strong and healthy bones and teeth.

  1. Wholegrain toast or crackers
Wholegrain foods, such as crackers, rice, bread and pasta, contain magnesium, which helps you to get to sleep. Studies have shown that a lack of magnesium can make it more difficult to sleep.

  1. Bananas
Bananas are often associated with a quick release of energy, but they can also help to induce sleep, as they contain vitamin B6, which is essential for the body to make melotonin.

  1. Hummus and raw vegetables
Chickpeas are another good source of vitamin B6 and hummus is a popular healthy snack. Adding raw vegetables will add other important vitamins and minerals. Chewing raw vegetables is also good for the teeth and gums, as it stimulates blood flow to the gums and increases saliva production, which washes away food debris and neutralises acids in the mouth.

  1. Cereal
Most people start the day with a bowl of cereal, but ending your day with cereal can also be beneficial. Fortified cereals contain iron and vitamin B6 and they are often a healthier alternative to sweets or chocolate bars.

Foods to avoid for a good night’s sleep

Just as there are foods that can help you get to sleep, there are also foods that can make it more difficult to drift off into a slumber. It’s best to avoid eating a heavy meal late in the day and to eat at least 3 hours before you plan to go to bed. Ideally, you should avoid snacking on anything that contains caffeine, lots of sugar or additives and strong flavours, before bed. It’s also best to steer clear of anything that is very heavy or rich in saturated fat. You can find further help for sleep problems at this London sleep clinic.

Many people like a hot drink before bed, but it’s best to avoid having a drink immediately before you plan to go to sleep. Try to stop at least an hour before and if you can, go for a caffeine-free option.

Disclaimer: This article is contributed by a Guest Blogger. Ping of Health does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to the content appearing in this article. Ping of Health disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.