When it comes to your health, there are probably two things that you heard while growing up. One was that you should drink no less than eight glasses of water every day. The second was that you should settle for no less than eight hours of sleep each night.
As experts are doing more research, it’s turning out that “6” may be the more magical number for both. That’s because you can get hydrated with juice, tea, wine and other fluids (along with water consumption) and everyone does not require eight hours; no less than six is ideal.
But if you’re someone who’s getting less than six on a consistent basis, that is something to pay close attention to. Sleep is what all of us need in order for our bodies to restore themselves. Sleep also increases concentration, stabilizes mood swings and provides you with energy.
So, what do you do if you can’t sleep? First try some of these foods. Sometimes altering your diet can make all of the difference in the world. Even when it comes to your sleep patterns.
1. Cherry juice
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A tall glass of cherry juice about an hour before going to bed could help you to sleep more soundly. The reason? Cherry juice is rich in melatonin---a hormone that makes becoming calm and resting better easier to do. This doesn’t include the juice box kind that’s loaded with sugar. Look for tart cherry juice that’s 100 percent juice. You can usually find it in the health food section of your grocery store.
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If you like to snack throughout the day, nix the chips and go for a handful of almonds instead. They help to lower blood sugar levels, promote weight loss and can help you to sleep throughout the night. Almonds support good sleeping habits because they contain a high amount of magnesium. Studies indicate that many people with insomnia have low magnesium levels in their system.
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Do you love fish? There’s even more of a reason to enjoy it for your lunch or dinner now! Fish like tuna, salmon and halibut are also filled with melatonin. They also have Vitamin B6, another vitamin your body needs in order to sleep better. In general, fish has lots of protein and Vitamin D. Fish also helps to protect your heart and is a good source of nutrients for your brain.
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And just how can kale help you to sleep? Well, it’s a wonderful source of calcium; that’s something that your body also needs to relax at night. Kale is a low-calorie leafy green that is also high in fiber, Vitamins A, C & K, iron and antioxidants too. Eat it raw, steamed, sauteed or make a homemade bowl of kale chips.
5. Whey protein
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Whey protein may not be a supplement that you already have in your kitchen pantry, but it’s well worth the purchase. It’s full of amino acids that your body needs to feel energized throughout the day and then restful at night. An important amino acid that it contains is bioactive milk peptides (BMPs). As it works to repair your body as you rest, BMPS reduce stress and keep you from feeling restless.
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Do you just LOVE having a bowl of cereal before turning in? Turns out that’s working in your favor! It’s actually the combination of the cereal and milk that’s magical. Cereal contains carbs that help to provide your body with the energy to sleep while the milk has enough calcium to calm you down. Just remember that less sugary kinds are best. For a sweet taste add some raw honey. It’s another body relaxing agent. Sweet dreams!