Sydney-based sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo has the deets.
We’ve heard it all a million times. Getting regular and quality sleep is vital for our health, both physically and mentally, helping us feel rested and rejuvenated playing an important role in looking after our immune system.
But Australians, in general, are troubled sleepers, with the latest YouGov research finding that one in three Australians are not getting enough sleep, and when we are asleep it would seem that only 15% of us are sleeping through the night without waking up. That percentage has probably decreased now with the return of lockdown, with many finding it hard to stop thinking about the current situation.
So, if you are finding it hard to nod off and stay asleep at night, then one place you can start in the process of improving this is eating the right foods before bedtime. There’s a strong correlation between what we eat and how we manage stress, both of which can have a huge impact on our energy levels.
According to Sydney-based sleep expert, Olivia Arezzolo, these are the best four foods for a better night sleep:
One food which hosts a number of important nutrients to promote a better rest is the banana. Bananas are super rich in magnesium, which is shown in clinical studies to reduce anxiety – one of the leading causes of sleeplessness – by 31%. Bananas are also great for sleep because they help the body synthesize serotonin. As a calming hormone, this is a great remedy against stress – the number one factor impairing sleep for Australian’s according to a 2017 nationwide survey. Finally, bananas also support the production of sleepiness hormone melatonin – a prime factor in the initiation of sleep, according to academic research. Because of this, those struggling to fall asleep will find it the perfect before bed snack.
Nuts are a great source of healthy fats. Specifically, almonds and walnuts contain melatonin, a hormone that helps to synchronize your sleep cycle. Nuts can increase your blood levels of the hormone; therefore, help you sleep more soundly. Specifically, nuts are high in omega 3’s: shown in clinical trials to support sleep quality and minimise night time waking. So, for those finding themselves rousing abruptly around that 3am mark, a handful of walnuts, alongside a banana, is your best go-to for a sleep friendly snack.
Chamomile tea has been used as a natural remedy for years to reduce inflammation and anxiety and treat insomnia. Studies show Its calming properties are likely linked to an antioxidant called apigenin – similarly to sleeping pills, this activates GABA neurotransmitters; helping you feel more relaxed and sleep easier. However, unlike sleeping pills, chamomile is a natural substance which can be taken long term – by old and young. If you’re someone that really struggles, it might be worth adding a chamomile plant to your garden.
There is a possible link to show the psychological side of enjoying a warm milk as a child for people induces a state of sleepiness. Hemp milk is a great plant-based alternative to dairy and is used by many to improve anxiety, stress, and induce sleepiness.
View this post on Instagram
SAVE THIS POST! 3 REASONS BANANAS ARE A SLEEP AND STRESS SUPERFOOD Clinical trials show bananas can triple (yes, TRIPLE!) your levels of serum melatonin. As the key sleepiness hormone, this helps you fall and stay asleep. This is largely because they contain l-tryptophan, an amino acid which acts as a precursor to the production of melatonin. Bananas are abundant in magnesium – a nutrient research indicates can reduce anxiety by 31%. As anxiety contributes to you being unable to fall asleep – or 3am wake ups - Having a banana may help you sleep through the night. Studies show bananas have 25% of your daily intake of vitamin B6 – helping you synthesise stress reducing hormones serotonin and dopamine. Even a mild deficiency can limit your ability to produce these key mood boosting endorphins; Which can otherwise contribute to states of depression, anxiety and insomnia. Please share with someone who would be bananas not to see this #oliviaarezzolo #sleepexpert #aussiebananalover #paidtopeel @australianbananas
Well, time to snooze.