YORK, Pa. — On average, 45% of people say their lack of sleep impacts their quality of life one to two days a week. Experts say fixing the problem could be as simple as changing what you eat at night.
Some of the worst culprits of bad sleep include caffeine, sugar, and alcohol. So what about foods that actually help us? Psychotherapist and Brain Health Expert Dr. Teralyn Sell says five foods can help you get a better night's sleep, and without taking medication.
Number 1: Protein. The amino acids break down into tryptophan, which eventually creates serotonin and then melatonin, which helps you fall asleep. Protein before bed can also help stabilize blood sugar, which helps you stay asleep longer.
Number 2: Chamomile Tea. It's a calming herb that has been shown to help with insomnia and disturbed sleep.
Number 3: Dark Chocolate. It's rich in magnesium, which is a natural relaxer. If you don't want the calories, you could always take a magnesium supplement before bed. Magnesium has also been shown to help reduce restless leg syndrome which can impair sleep.
Number 4: Tart Cherry. Several studies link drinking tart cherry juice to improved sleep. Why? It too, has melatonin in it, which helps regulate your natural sleep cycle.
And number 5: Oatmeal. It's considered an anxiolytic, which can be calming and help you relax. It can also help stabilize your blood sugar, which should help you get a more restful night of sleep.
If you are struggling at night to get decent sleep, Dr. Sell says take a look at what you are eating at night and see if it could be the reason why. If you make changes and still don't get relief, it's always a good idea to give your primary care physician a call.