While there might not be a lot you can do about the daily stressors of life, you can improve your quality of sleep each night, which can have tremendous benefits on overall well-being. Your diet can make a big difference in how well (or how poorly) you sleep. Besides eliminating foods from your nightly habits that can contribute to poor sleep quality – such as caffeine or alcohol – it’s also important to add in foods that will benefit your sleep routine.
Eat a well-balanced dinner. Digestive discomfort can lead to sleep disruption, so it’s best to avoid certain types of foods before bed. Large meals or those that are spicy or high in fat or sugar can interrupt your ability to sleep as your body works to digest the food. Instead, eat a light meal for dinner.
Snack smart. Although it’s ideal to curb eating a few hours before bed, if you need a late-night snack, consider a handful of California walnuts. Walnuts contain melatonin (3.5+/-1.0 mg/g), an important plant compound that maintains a healthy sleep cycle.
Prepare a hot beverage. Prepare a cup of herbal tea or, even better, rustle up Lavender-Infused Walnut Milk. For that, just place water in a stockpot and add half a cup of lavender flowers and one cup of walnuts. Boil for about 10 minutes, then drain and rinse well. Put boiled walnuts in a blender with 3 to 4 cups of filtered water and add in vanilla, honey, and sea salt and blend until mixture has some time to merge together. Strain through cheesecloth into a bowl, and it is ready. You get the aromatherapy and melatonin benefits from walnuts, plus some extra nutrients to help you sleep better.
Bonus tip: Start in the morning. Good sleep starts with maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle and taking care of yourself all day long. Wake up feeling refreshed and commit to a revitalizing morning routine to start and end each day on the right foot. Sleeping better begins with taking small steps to create a sustainable evening routine, so your body and your mind know it’s time to get some shut-eye. By following these tips, you can be well on your way to better sleep.
– Naaznin Husein – Founder, Freedom Wellness Management and an Eminent Dietitian.