Do you ever remember being told that you shouldn’t eat cheese before bedtime because it would give you nightmares? Well, I’m pretty sure this is rubbish. Why would it? But some foods do make it harder to sleep. Anything with a lot of sugar or caffeine, like coke, is going to make it much harder to nod off. And, eating a large meal or pigging out on snacks late at night is also going to make it harder for your body to switch off as it is still working hard to digest everything that you have consumed.
But, there are some foods that can actually help you to sleep. Spoiler – Cheese is one of them!
Now, lettuce isn’t anyone’s ideal late-night snack. And I’m certainly not suggesting you eat a bowl of lettuce while watching a DVD. But, a bit of salad on the side of your dinner, especially something like a burger or wrap, which you can also add leaves to for a bit of crunch, could help you to get a great night’s sleep. Lettuce contains lactucarium, which has a sedative effect which can help your brain chill out and relax.
If you do fancy a late night snack, something I am terrible for, cheese and biscuits is a much better option than chocolate or sweet popcorn. Many of us turn to a warm milky drink to help us relax at night, but it’s the calcium specifically that does the trick, so cheese is perhaps a tastier alternative.
Tuna and other fish like salmon or halibut are fantastic sources of serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin makes you feel good, which is always useful, and melatonin helps your body regulate night and day. This is why using your smartphone at night can affect your sleep, the light hinders your bodies ability to produce melatonin. Have some tuna for tea to give it a boost.
I love hummus, but I never buy it. I’m going to get some hummus! It’s a fantastic source of tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid, which like tuna, helps with your bodies serotonin levels and regulates melatonin.
If you fancy something sweet, kiwi can be a fantastic option. I don’t believe in superfoods, but if I did, kiwi would be one. As would cake. Kiwi is packed with vitamin C and E, folate and serotonin. All of these can help you to sleep on their own, so imagine how good they are in a tight little kiwi bundle. You’ll probably be asleep before you’ve finished eating it! Banana’s are also a good fruity option.
My personal favourite sleep aid is a bottle of wine and a large block of chocolate, which all the science suggests shouldn’t work at all. It does though doesn’t it? So, cook up a yummy, filling casserole, and treat yourself to something that you love. Happiness and comfort are sometimes all it takes to sleep well and feel fantastic! But, if you do need a late night snack, try some of these ideas for a little bit of extra help nodding off.