These 8 foods in your diet can help you sleep better every night

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While it’s generally recommended to avoid heavy meals close to bedtime, certain foods and drinks can actually promote better sleep. Options like almonds, chamomile tea, turkey, kiwi, tart cherry juice, fatty fish, walnuts, passionflower, and white rice can aid in relaxation and encourage a restful night. These foods contain sleep-promoting compounds such as melatonin, tryptophan, and magnesium, helping to regulate sleep cycles and induce drowsiness.

Says Bengaluru-based somnologist Vaidehi Rawat, “Incorporating these lighter, sleep-friendly options into your evening routine can set the stage for a more peaceful and rejuvenating rest, without the discomfort of a heavy meal interfering with your body’s ability to settle in for the night.”

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Let’s explore the top nine options that can help you drift off into a peaceful sleep.

Almonds: These nuts are not only great snacking options but also contain magnesium, which help relax muscles and promote sleep. They also provide a steady release of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep.

Chamomile tea: This herbal tea has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for insomnia. Chamomile contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to specific receptors in your brain that may promote sleepiness.

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Kiwi: Surprisingly, this fuzzy fruit is a sleep superstar. Kiwis are high in serotonin, a brain chemical that helps regulate your sleep cycle. They also contain antioxidants and other compounds that may improve sleep quality.

Tart cherry juice: Another drink to consider is tart cherry juice, which is naturally high in melatonin. Studies have shown that drinking tart cherry juice can increase both the duration and quality of sleep.

Fatty fish: Fish like salmon, trout, and mackerel are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to improved sleep. They can help reduce inflammation and increase serotonin levels in the brain.

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Walnuts: Like almonds, walnuts are a good source of both melatonin and magnesium. They’re also rich in healthy fats, which can help stabilize blood sugar levels during the night.

Passionflower: This herb has been used for centuries to treat anxiety and insomnia. It works by increasing levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a brain chemical that promotes relaxation and sleep.

White rice: While it might seem counterintuitive to eat white rice before bed, it actually has a high glycemic index, which means it can raise your blood sugar and help you fall asleep faster. Pair it with some protein for a balanced pre-bedtime snack.

Incorporating these foods and drinks into your evening routine can help set the stage for a restful night. However, it’s essential to remember that individual responses to foods can vary, so it’s best to experiment and see what works best for you. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol close to bedtime, as they can disrupt sleep patterns.

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