How to sleep well: Five natural foods to get a great night’s sleep

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There are a number of tips and tricks out there, though not all will work for everyone. There are also some foods which may be able to help you get a good night’s rest. Adults tend to need between six and nine hours of sleep every night.

The Sleep Foundation has outlined a number of foods which may be able to help you sleep.

The site says: “Both diet and sleep are complex, which means there’s no silver bullet or single food that is guaranteed to help with sleep. However, there are some foods and drinks that may make it easier to get a great night’s sleep.”

These include kiwifruit. Kiwifruit possess numerous vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins C and E as well as potassium and folate.

The organisation notes that some research has found that eating kiwi can improve sleep. For example, in one study, people who ate two kiwis one hour before bedtime found that they fell asleep faster, slept more, and had better sleep quality.

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The Sleep Foundation also says that tart cherries may help with your sleep.

It says: “Several studies have found sleep benefits for people who drink tart cherry juice. In one study, people who drank two one-cup servings of tart cherry juice per day were found to have more total sleep time and higher sleep efficiency.

“These benefits may come from the fact that tart cherries have been found to have above-average concentrations of melatonin, which is a hormone that helps regulate circadian rhythm and promote healthy sleep. Tart cherries may also have an antioxidant effect that is conducive to sleep.”

It notes that studies have also found that malted milk before bed reduces sleep interruptions, which may have to do with the B and D vitamins in malted milk.

It adds that researchers believe that fatty fish may help sleep.

This may work by providing a healthy dose of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which are involved in the body’s regulation of serotonin.

You may also want to try consuming nuts, such as walnuts, pistachios, and cashews, which “are often considered to be a good food for sleep”.

“Though the exact amounts can vary, nuts contain melatonin as well as essential minerals like magnesium and zinc that are essential to a range of bodily processes,” says the site.

Though there may be foods which can help, the organisation notes that diet is also multifaceted, “making it hard to generalise about the perfect diet for everyone”.

According to the NHS you should also contact your GP if you have insomnia that lasts for more than four weeks.

The health body also recommends that there are certain foods and drinks to reduce to help you sleep.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it says you should cut down on caffeine in tea, coffee, energy drinks or colas, especially in the evening. Caffeine interferes with the process of falling asleep, and also prevents deep sleep.

The NHS also suggests that the timing of food and drink consumption is important.

“Too much food or alcohol, especially late at night, can interrupt your sleep patterns.

“Alcohol may help you to fall asleep initially, but it will disrupt your sleep later on in the night,” it says.

People who smoke also tend to take longer to fall asleep, wake up more frequently, and often have more disrupted sleep.

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