25 Relaxing Foods, Drinks To Help You Drift Off

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Shut-eye foods

Most of us have trouble sleeping at some point in our lives, whether because of work worries, other stressors or simply an overflowing to-do list. But some simple dietary changes can tip the balance in favor of better and more refreshing sleep.

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Mediterranean diet

Who doesn’t love some fresh grilled fish with colorful veg and a glass of red wine? As well as reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer, researchers have found a Mediterranean diet is also good for helping you get better rest.

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Canned sardines

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey confirms that low calcium intake is specifically linked with difficulty nodding off and less restorative sleep. Canned sardines are a terrific calcium source for people who can’t tolerate or don’t want to consume dairy.

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Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are packed with magnesium, which can enhance levels of sleep-regulating melatonin hormone and aid muscle relaxation. Low levels of magnesium in the blood can trigger sleep difficulties.

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Almonds

Almonds are also a good source of magnesium and have documented slumber-promoting qualities. In one study there was a 10% drop in the number of students reporting insomnia after eating 10 almonds a day for 14 days.

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Whole grains

High fiber intake is associated with more rejuvenating nights under the duvet according to a 2016 study. For the purposes of the research, 26 adults spent five nights in a sleep lab during which their nutrient intake was also carefully monitored.

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Crab

Low dietary intake of the mineral selenium is common and has been linked with difficulty nodding off. Eating more crab is one way of getting your selenium fix, plus the shellfish also contains crucial sleep nutrients like calcium and vitamin B6.

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Oily fish

Vitamin D and omega-3s, found in oily fish, also help increase the production of soothing serotonin. However, although it's excellent sleep food, women who haven't yet been through the menopause should stick to two portions a week.

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Soy foods

Greater intake of isoflavones, found in soy products such as tofu, were linked with higher chances of getting optimal sleep (7–8 hours a night) in a Japanese study. It’s thought that isoflavones act like a weaker version of estrogen, which has beneficial effects on sleep quality.

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Bananas

A banana is packed with around 375mg of potassium (nearly a fifth of the daily recommendation), a mineral associated with less daytime sleepiness. Snacking on this bendy fruit before bedtime also tops up your intake of vitamin B6.

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Rice

Research suggests that the high glycaemic index of rice (which means it releases sugar quickly) makes it good for inducing sleep. Glucose in the blood makes it easier for tryptophan – the amino acid that generates serotonin and melatonin in the body – to cross into the brain.

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