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Eight Foods That Improve Sleep: From Sweet Kiwi to Savory Fish

Twiddling your thumbs. Counting sheep. Breathing in deeply. These are just a few of the common, simple methods many use to help them achieve a serene slumber. But what’s a person to do if these sleep tips don’t work for them? For this reason, we’re sharing our eight favorite foods that can improve sleep. From sweet kiwi to savory fish, these sleep superfoods are worth adding to your evening snacks and/or meals if you find yourself struggling to doze off into dreamland. So, if it’s a successful snooze you’re after, keep scrolling!

Kiwi

Ah, this fruit sure does hold the kiwi to any sleepy person’s heart!

In case you didn’t already know, kiwi is one of the best sleep-inducing foods you can eat! Not only are they high in minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins, but also in melatonin, serotonin, anthocyanins, and more! Studies have even demonstrated that adults who consumed kiwifruit before bed showed signs of improved sleep quality and reported minimal sleep disturbances.

Rice

After munching down on this grain, you’ll be ready to rice and shine bright and early!

Studies have shown that an increased carbohydrate intake, specifically before bed, can improve sleep quality. And although multiple varieties of rice exist, the average cup contains a whopping 45 grams of carbs per cup! It also ranks high on the glycemic index scale, so chowing down on a bowl or two can make you feel fuller and help you fall asleep faster.

Cherries

These sweet, red gems are ones to truly cherry-ish if you can’t seem to achieve some solid shuteye!

Cherries are a natural and high source of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone our bodies naturally produce. They’re also rich in fiber and vitamins C and E, two nutrients and antioxidants that play an important role in overall health! And another great thing about these small fruits is that you can enjoy them and reap their sleep-boosting benefits both whole and in juice form!

Lettuce

We understand that lack of sleep may make you cranky, so lettuce explain what this green veggie can do for you!

Lettuce, particularly Romaine lettuce, contains lactucarium, a phytonutrient that has sedative and even pain-relieving properties! Studies have also shown that Romaine lettuce, specifically, contains antioxidant phenolics that protect the body from oxidative stress caused by sleep disturbances. And if munching on some crunchy lettuce isn’t for you (even if it’s in a yummy salad), you can purchase a bottle of lettuce seed oil, which can help aid in sleep and improve the quality of skin and hair, too!

Nuts (Almonds + Walnuts)

Nuts walnut disappoint you tired folk, trust us.

Nuts, particularly almonds and walnuts, are an excellent source of melatonin. The former contains a high content of magnesium, a sleep-enhancing mineral which works to relax your muscles and maintain levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a chemical substance that helps to “shut off” your body’s wakeful, alert state. The latter are high in tryptophan, an amino acid that aids in the production of serotonin. In fact, just one handful of walnuts contain 318 mg of this sleep-inducing acid. How neat!

Watermelon

Inadequate sleep can make you feel like you’re losing your rind, but watermelon can help!

Did you know that lack of sleep can increase the chances of becoming dehydrated and vice versa?! That’s why fruits and veggies that’re high in water such as watermelons, which contain 92% water, act as the perfect hydrating hero for those who can’t seem to stop their mind from wandering as soon as they hit the hay. But do ensure that you stick to a 2-cup serving, as too much of this fruit can cause frequent urination (another issue that keeps many awake at night).

Oatmeal

Do you find that you want to give yourself a time oat during a workday just so you can sneak in a nap?

Oatmeal can serve as more than just a quick, easy, and yummy breakfast option. In fact, having a warm bowl as a night snack can help relax your body before bed! This is because whole grains like oatmeal naturally increase blood sugar levels, which can cause you to feel sleepy. They’re also a known source of melatonin, just like cherries!

Fatty Fish

We fish you a good night’s rest tonight, we really do!

And if you’re looking to get in a solid snooze, a fresh piece of fatty fish, specifically salmon, might be the best food to grill up for your evening meal. Fatty fish are known for their high content of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which help to increase levels of serotonin. This chemical, which is responsible for transmitting signals to nerve cells, plays an important role in your body’s sleep-wake cycle because it’s used to produce melatonin!

And that’s a wrap on foods that improve sleep, folks! We hope you enjoyed learning which foods to include in your diet if you have a difficult time catching some z’s. Stay tuned for the second half of this topic where we cover the foods that disrupt sleep. Until then, follow us on socials and let us know what you do to achieve solid slumbers, even if it isn’t food related! We always love hearing from you. Until next time!