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Top Foods for Better Sleep: A London Nutritionist’s Guide

Foods for better sleep - waking up

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We’ve all heard the old wives’ tale about drinking a glass of warm milk before bed to help you sleep.

But is there really any truth to it? And what are the best foods for better sleep?

As a London nutritionist, I can assure you that the connection between diet and sleep quality goes far beyond just milk.

The foods you eat and when you eat them can either promote deep, restorative sleep or leave you tossing and turning all night long.

While there’s no single “magic” food that guarantees amazing sleep (sorry, lettuce tea fans), adjusting your diet is one of the most effective natural ways to enhance your sleep. Read on to find out some of my recommended foods for better sleep.

 

How Diet Impacts Sleep Quality

What you eat influences your sleep through various mechanisms in the body.

The nutrients, enzymes, amino acids, and hormones found in different foods all play important roles in regulating our sleep-wake cycles.

In fact, certain diets like the Mediterranean diet, rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods, have been directly linked to better sleep quality.

 

How Your Eating Habits Affect Your Slumber:

Nutrient profile: Nutrients like tryptophan, antioxidants, and magnesium support better sleep, while stimulants like caffeine and sugar can interfere with sleep.

Hormonal response: Some foods boost production of sleep-promoting hormones like serotonin and melatonin, while others spike stress hormones like cortisol that can keep you awake.

Meal timing: Heavy meals close to bedtime are hard to digest and can disrupt sleep. But having certain snacks earlier can actually promote relaxation.

Blood sugar control: Spikes and crashes in blood sugar from sugary, refined foods and simple carbs can impair your ability to stay asleep.

Food combinations: Pairing complementary sleep-supporting foods together enhances their benefits, while mixing them with sleep disruptors can negate the effects.

 

My Top Foods For Better Sleep

As a London nutritionist, I always recommend incorporating these foods for better sleep into your routine to naturally improve sleep quality:

Nuts like almonds provide muscle-relaxing magnesium and can reduce insomnia symptoms.

Honey promotes melatonin production in the brain to help you fall asleep faster.

Chamomile tea is an age-old remedy for its relaxing, sleep-inducing antioxidants.

Kiwis are packed with vitamin C and serotonin-boosting compounds to help you fall asleep quicker.

Turkey contains tryptophan to raise serotonin and melatonin levels for deeper sleep.

Dairy like milk and yogurt provide tryptophan, calcium, and melatonin – the perfect sleep trifecta!

Fatty fish like salmon is high in vitamin D and anti-inflammatory omega-3s for better sleep cycles.

Whole grains offer magnesium, tryptophan, and other nutrients that promote muscle relaxation.

Leafy greens provide a wealth of magnesium, calcium, and antioxidants to support quality sleep.

Bananas are a good source of tryptophan, magnesium, and potassium to prevent sleep disturbances.

Foods for better sleep - Banana

 

Foods That Can Disrupt Your Sleep

And just as important as adding foods for better sleep is avoiding things that can disrupt sleep, especially before bed…

Caffeine is a potent stimulant that can shift your circadian rhythm and make it hard to fall asleep.

Alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, but it disrupts sleep cycles later in the night.

Spicy, acidic, and fried foods can cause heartburn, indigestion, and discomfort that prevents deep sleep.

Salty, high-sodium foods may lead to nighttime awakenings from excessive thirst.

Beans and simple carbs can be slow to digest and cause gas or blood sugar fluctuations that disturb sleep.

Foods for better sleep - Coffee

What, when, and how you eat can profoundly impact the quality of your sleep. By purposefully incorporating foods for better sleep into your daily meals and snacks while limiting dietary sleep disruptors, you can naturally optimise your sleep for better energy, focus, and overall health.

If you’re struggling with sleep issues, keep a food journal for a few weeks to identify any connections between your diet and sleep patterns. With some simple nutritional adjustments, you can finally get the deep, restorative rest you need to feel your best.

Ready to improve your health and build a lively lifestyle through healthy habits?

Instead of just focusing on foods for better sleep, I consider the bigger picture for long-lasting results.  

No need to wait! Grab your free discovery call now, and let's work together to create a simple plan that incorporates healthy habits, helping you look and feel your best.  

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