Getting enough sleep (more than seven hours) helps us feel energized and ready for the next day, but beyond that, sleep is essential for a variety of health outcomes. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get to sleep and stay asleep thanks to things like anxiety, blue light exposure, and caffeine (to name a few!). Karman Meyer, R.D., LDN, believes that our sleep can be improved by what we put in our bodies and lets us in on the best foods for better zzz’s in her new book Eat to Sleep. Here are seven delicious foods that may just do the trick.
These foods work in a variety of ways to benefit your body and improve the quality of sleep you get at night. A few of them are natural sources of melatonin, some provide the important amino acid to help your body produce melatonin, and others provide the essential nutrients needed to help your body relax as you drift off to dreamland.
Almonds naturally contain the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin. This tree nut also provides the body with magnesium, which may help improve sleep quality. One ounce of almonds contains 76 milligrams of magnesium and 75 milligrams of calcium to help bring on the zzz’s. While there is currently limited research specifically about almonds and the impact they have on sleep, a study published in the Journal of Natural Medicines in 2016 found that rats fed 400 milligrams of almond extract slept longer and more deeply than a group that did not consume almond extract.