Foods that help sleep (for adults and babies): what are they?

Many people already know that some foods or drinks can get in the way of sleep, such as coffee, for example.

However, did you know that there are also those who can positively interfere? That is, food and drinks that can help you sleep better!

Next, check out what they are and better understand why some items cause this type of effect – both positive and negative:

Why do some foods interfere with sleep?

Food is directly linked to the functioning of our organism, so that it naturally interferes with various processes and activities, including sleep.

Due to its composition, some drinks and foods stimulate the production of substances that impact the sleep process. The main ones are melatonin and serotonin , two hormones that regulate (among other functions) the feeling of well-being and sleep.

These are hormones naturally produced by the body, but some foods (rich in an amino acid called tryptophan, for example) can help with this production and regulation.

This amino acid can be found in foods such as milk, eggs, fish, almonds, chickpeas, etc.

On the other hand, there are those that impair rest, which can occur due to factors such as the stimuli they cause in our organism or the way they are digested.

This is the case with coffee, since it increases the stimulation of the Central Nervous System (CNS), which inhibits the feeling of tiredness and tends to make the person feel more energetic.

In addition, foods that require a longer digestion time can also interfere with sleep when consumed before going to sleep – such as carbohydrates (breads, sweets, pasta).

Do foods contain melatonin?

-Yeah . Melatonin is a hormone that, like serotonin (acts in the regulation of well-being, happiness, sleep), has its production related to tryptophan – the amino acid that produces and stimulates these substances in the Central Nervous System (CNS).

Foods that stimulate melatonin are those that can be considered a source of tryptophan – which includes milk , bananas , kiwis and oats .

But in addition, this substance is produced naturally by the body. Its stimulation occurs as we are less exposed to light (artificial and natural).

When this happens, the eyes and the brain tell the pineal gland (endocrine gland in the brain) to start releasing melatonin into the body.

From then on, it goes into the bloodstream and acts to regulate and induce sleep.

For this reason, its function is related to “communicating” to the organism whether it is day or night, so that the necessary functions of each period are carried out – since some activities of the body occur only during the day or only at night.

What foods help you sleep?

Foods that help sleep are rich in tryptophan , a compound responsible for the production of serotonin – a hormone that regulates sleep and well-being.

When the levels of this substance are low, it can naturally be more difficult to sleep, considering that it will not be performing its function properly.

However, more than that, this serotonin deficiency increases the cravings for sweets and carbohydrates – foods that, when consumed before bedtime, impair rest.

Thus, the ideal is to invest in foods and beverages source of tryptophan, which will help in the production of serotonin and control the levels of this hormone in the body. So, some of these foods are:

  • Milk and its derivatives (cheese, yogurt);
  • Cocoa – not chocolate, but cocoa itself;
  • Fish;
  • Chestnut of Pará;
  • This;
  • Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas).

In addition, it is not new that some teas help you to relax and sleep better, such as chamomile, passion fruit and lemon balm. However, it is not ideal to ingest large amounts, as they may increase the urge to urinate at night, which interrupts sleep.

As mentioned in the previous topic, foods that contain melatonin also help you sleep well. Since she is the one who helps the body to separate its functions from when we are awake and asleep. To help in this regard, you can consume:

  • Banana;
  • Pineapple;
  • Kiwi;
  • Chickpea;
  • Nuts;
  • Almonds;
  • Oat.

Read more: Kiwi: what it is, how to use it and nutritional properties

Foods that help your child and baby sleep

Food also interferes with the sleep of children and babies . This point does not apply directly to those who are very young and still feed exclusively on milk (breast or formula), since they probably do not sleep all night and wake up to eat.

However, if you have a child who has already started introducing food or already eats food at every meal, you can pay attention to some foods that help you rest.

Basically, they are the same as those mentioned for adults. Therefore, you can prioritize foods that stimulate serotonin and melatonin , offering them in the period before the child goes to sleep.

Therefore, a few hours before the usual time for the baby or child to go to bed, you can prepare a snack with ingredients such as:

  • Banana;
  • Mel;
  • Oat;
  • Milk or dairy products.

Does any food help you sleep fast and have a peaceful sleep?

In general, the food we eat does not help us sleep faster. There are several options that can help to have a peaceful sleep and avoid difficulties at bedtime.

However, the consumption of some teas can help the person to become more relaxed and sleep faster than usual. Among these, the following can be highlighted:

  • Chamomile – its effects are linked to a greater sense of tranquility;
  • Passiflora – stimulates the release of hormones such as serotonin and, therefore, increases the feeling of well-being and relaxation;
  • Lavender – provides a calming effect and allows the person to relax;
  • Lemongrass – its properties provide a mild sedative and calming effect;
  • Melissa – decreases anxiety and stress, which often impair sleep.

It is also possible to find teas that mix more than one herb, such as the Mixed Tea Madrugada Bons Sonhos , in order to help in this feeling of mental rest. You can also choose to buy the separate herbs and mix at home.

So, drinking any of these teas and consuming foods that stimulate serotonin and melatonin before bedtime can really provide a peaceful sleep.

What foods are sleepy?

The insomnia is a problem that can be linked to different factors, such as stress and anxiety , for example. However, our simpler habits can also interfere in this sense – such as eating.

The foods and drinks that make you sleep are, in general, those that stimulate the Central Nervous System (CNS) and make the person more active. As an example, we can mention those that contain significant levels of caffeine :

  • Café;
  • Chocolate drink;
  • Glue coolants;
  • Energetic;
  • Matte tea;
  • Chocolate.

In that case, it is recommended to avoid ingesting these products 6 hours before bedtime.

But not only can these foods impair sleep. Carbohydrate consumption before bed can also be bad for rest.

This is because they provide energy to the body, consequently, make the person more active. In addition, high-carbohydrate meals require a longer digestion time – which can make sleep difficult.

It is also worth noting that carbohydrates decrease levels of serotonin, a hormone responsible for regulating sleep.

Therefore, 2 hours before bedtime , you should avoid consuming foods such as:

  • Candy;
  • Breads;
  • Cakes;
  • Noodle;
  • White rice;
  • Potato.

Knowing what to eat to help you sleep and what to avoid in order to avoid insomnia is very important. This is because tiredness and the effects of a poor night’s sleep affect daily activities, in addition to impacting on other factors – such as premature aging.

If you liked this content, keep following the Healthy Minute to find out more information about health and well-being!

Loading...