3.) Bananas – Many people are often surprised to find that bananas can aid sleep, since they’re well-known for boosting energy. Nonetheless, bananas are also rich in magnesium, potassium and tryptophan, which are the “magic trio” of sleep boosters. Tryptophan is especially effective in this regard since it is the precursor to the two neurotransmitters, serotonin and melatonin, which modulate sleep.
4.) Valerian – The root of the valerian plant, which is usually consumed in tea or tincture form, has been used as a sleeping aid since Ancient Greece and Rome. Moreover, its sedative and anxiolytic properties have been proven by numerous studies. For example, a 2011 study published in Menopause found that valerian extracts provided a “statistically significant” improvement in sleep quality among postmenopausal women suffering from insomnia. The study authors concluded that the “findings from this study add support to the reported effectiveness of valerian in the clinical management of insomnia.”
5.) Oatmeal — Although oatmeal is usually associated with breakfast, its nutritional composition — high in magnesium and potassium — also makes it a suitable evening food. Even the very nature of oatmeal (warm, soothing and soft) is indicative of sleep and calm. Moreover, oatmeal tends to be mixed with milk, which is one of the best-known relaxation drinks.
Sources for this article include:
Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website, Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world's healthiest foods.
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