Nuts like pecans, almonds and walnuts contain the naturally occuring chemical, tryptophan that helps your body produce melatonin.
Melatonin, as most people would know, can easily be produced when you step outside and soak up the sun’s rays. Melatonin is also responsible for setting your sleep and wake cycles and conditions your body into going into rest mood when it’s night time.
Eating a handful of these nuts will help kick start the production of melatonin in your body and it’s especially useful when you don’t always have the time to head out for lunch and get some sun.
You probably already know this but rice has a high glycemic index (GI) score so that means, your body tends to be able to process it faster and leaves you sleepier in the day — hence you often get a food coma after eating rice at lunch.
However, that doesn’t mean you should stay away from it entirely. Eating small amounts of rice at dinner time and then taking a walk right after to help it digest slowly can help you get a better sleep. Alternatively, slow-releasing carbohydrates like brown rice and rye bread or wholemeal bread too, can do the trick too.
Much like nuts, cherries too contain melatonin and can help you get better quality rest.
Studies have also suggested that when you’re experiencing any form of insomnia or are finding it hard to fall asleep, consuming some cherries — especially tart cherries — can really benefit you.
Alternatively, you could also drink some cherry juice because it’s said to have the same effect as eating a handful of cherries.
Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and lettuce contain stress-releasing minerals like calcium and iron that can produce melatonin for the body.
Leafy vegetables also contain magnesium, a nutrient that could help relax your body and make it easier for you to wind down after a busy or hard day at work.
As a kid, we were told that a glass of warm milk could always help us sleep better — and it’s true!
The calcium found in dairy products like milk and yoghurt can help produce melatonin and warmth your belly up before you go to bed so you’re more relaxed.
It’s a known fact that carbohydrates can make you sleepy so when trying to use carbohydrates to fall asleep, it’s best to stick to the healthier kinds that won’t make you bloat or gain weight.
Foods like quinoa and brown rice all contain magnesium and has natural sedative effects on your body.
Bananas are one of those low GI foods that we tend to eat whenever we’re trying to fill our tummies up in a rush.
They’ve also got plenty of vitamins, minerals and fibres to keep your blood sugar level at a steady pace so you don’t experience mood swings just before bed.