14.06.2024

Seven foods that will help you get better sleep

Wondering whether you can simply eat your way to a better sleep? The answer, according to experts, is yes. The relationship between diet and sleep is two-sided, says registered nutritionist Gabi Zaromskyte.

‘What we eat and drink affects our sleep, but also, the quality and duration of sleep can affect our food choices,’ she explains.

‘Scientific research has increasingly shed light on the significant impact of dietary choices on cognitive function, mood, and overall physical and mental health.’

Certain dietary patterns, as well as specific nutrients, have been found to influence the sleep-wake cycle, sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep), and sleep architecture (the different stages of sleep), notes Zaromskyte, founder of Honestly Nutrition.

Wondering whether certain foods can affect your sleep patterns – or if eating certain things could actually help improve your sleep? (stock image)

Wondering whether certain foods can affect your sleep patterns – or if eating certain things could actually help improve your sleep? (stock image)

‘And the quality and timing of our food and beverage intake can impact the production of sleep-regulating hormones, such as melatonin, which plays a critical role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle,’ she adds.

However, as Dr Maja Schaedel, co-founder of The Good Sleep Clinic points out, it’s important to understand that most research done so far shows that, even though certain foods may be higher in melatonin, that does not necessary equate to falling asleep quicker.

‘You may have higher levels of melatonin, but if you’ve got stuck in a bad habit of tossing and turning for two hours before drifting off, or waking at 3am and not being able to return to sleep, foods high in melatonin are not going to solve your problem,’ says Dr Schaedel.

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