Guest article by Rhiannon Lytle, Holistic Nutritionist
Specializing in hormones, digestive health and general nutrition
Sleep is crucial to proper rest and recovery. It keeps our mind sharp, our stress levels low, and our body young. But what happens when you just can’t fall asleep even when you’re following all the tips and tricks, like turning off all blue light before bed? Trying out different foods for insomnia might be your next trick!
Here are 5 foods that can help fight insomnia for a better night’s sleep
Eggs are high in an amino acid called tryptophan – you know, the stuff that leaves us needing a nap after a big turkey dinner? Along with that, egg whites contain melatonin, the hormone we typically attribute to proper sleep cycles.
Magnesium is an important mineral when it comes to sleep health, and 1 medium avocado contains 15% of our daily requirement of it. In addition, avocados contain a lot of fibre and healthy fats, making them an excellent pre-bed companion as they can help to stabilize blood sugar through the night.
Tart cherry juice contains melatonin, which you likely know helps to promote sleep! Studies have shown that supplementing with tart cherry juice increases the amount of time sleeping and the quality of sleep.
Nuts and seeds are high in a variety of minerals that can support sleep, including magnesium, selenium. As well, nuts are one of the plant-based sources with the highest amount of melatonin.
Complex carbohydrates are essential to help balance our blood sugar, and can have an effect on our cortisol curve. Our cortisol is the hormone that helps us to fall asleep at night, and wake up in the morning. When our blood sugar is out of balance so is our cortisol, leading to an inability to fall and/or stay asleep.
It’s not always about what you eat, but when you eat. If you are someone that has no trouble falling asleep, but notice you typically wake in the early morning hours, try having a light snack about 30-minutes before bed. Or if you have difficulty falling asleep, and currently aim to eat a few hours before bed, try switching it up and having a small snack (like ¼ of an avocado, a handful of nuts, or a hardboiled egg) 30 minutes before bed!