The surprising foods that help you fall asleep

The surprising foods that help you fall asleep

Sleep expert and author of The Good Sleep Guide, Sammy Margo says these surprising foods will help you sleep better at night.

See also: Napping for an hour may boost brain power

See also: What not to do when you can't get to sleep

New research has revealed that over two thirds (69%) of Brits feel sleep-deprived, and our love of spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol may hold the cause.

The study, commissioned by Simba Sleep, which quizzed 2,000 adults about the connection between their diet and quality of sleep, revealed that one in five think spicy foods like curry will help them to get a good night's rest.

Over one in ten believe a cup of caffeinated coffee helps them to nod off, while almost half of Brits also reported that they regularly enjoy a boozy nightcap.

Sammy Margo, sleep expert and author of The Good Sleep Guide, said: "Although many of us understand the importance of nutrition during the day, the latest research from Simba Sleep clearly shows few of us are aware that certain foods could be sabotaging our sleep".

"While particular foods and drinks may feel warming, those that are spicy, caffeinated, or high in fat and protein can play havoc with our sleep."

"Lying down after eating a spice-laden meal can result in heartburn and a restless night. Fatty foods high in protein, like steak, digest slowly and may disturb our Circadian rhythm. Plus, whilst a nightcap can make you feel drowsy, excessive alcohol prevents you from getting into the deeper stages of sleep, and may make you feel groggy the next day."

James Cox, co-founder of high-tech mattress firm Simba Sleep, who commissioned the study, said: "There is a delicate balancing act between a number of factors that could mean the difference between a restful and a restless night's sleep. In fact, as our research shows, there is a disconnect between what we should and shouldn't eat before we go to bed each night.

"In addition to selecting the right mattress, eating the right foods is essential in the science of getting the perfect night's sleep. With the right approach to nutrition, lifestyle and comfort, sleep-deprived Brits can achieve a much needed long and enjoyable night's rest."

1. Bananas – Bananas are rich in magnesium, a muscle relaxant, as well as sleep-promoting hormones serotonin and melatonin.
2. Almonds – Almonds contain tryptophan and magnesium, which both help to naturally reduce muscle and nerve function while also steadying your heart rhythm.
3. Honey – A teaspoon of honey contains glucose, which tells your brain to shut off orexin, the chemical known to trigger alertness.
4. Oats – Grains in oatmeal trigger insulin production and raise your blood sugar naturally. Oats are also rich in melatonin.
5. Turkey – The post-Christmas lunch nap is no coincidence – turkey is packed with sleep-inducing tryptophan

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