Foods/herbs that can help you sleep

We all know that sleep is important for us to be in good health but there are times that our sleep pattern can be affected. Stress, anxiety, depression, eczema flare-ups, noise, depression, insomnia, pain, heat, hot weather and changes in our hormones can affect our sleep.

The menopause, ill-health, being on your period can also affect your sleep pattern and this can be out of our control. 

When British Summer Time begins (BST) and the clock changes the days become brighter and we lose an hour. Our body then has to readjust to the time difference with it being very bright later on in the evening. 

When the clocks go back in October we gain an hour and the evenings get darker and again our bodies have to adjust to this change.

As I write this blog, it’s the evening but yet it’s still bright outside, which could easily give you the impression that it is early in the afternoon. 

Did you know that food and herbs we eat can affect our quality of sleep?

Yes, that’s right!

Too much processed, salty, sugary and junk food plays a part in our sleep and our overall well-being. It may be tasty but later on, when you’re trying to sleep you can’t.

Help is at hand. For years I struggled with sleep unaware that what I ate can affect my sleep pattern. I began looking closely at the foods and drinks I consume and how they affect my overall health.  

I love to sleep and I love my bed but for me to enjoy both, my body needs to rest.  When I eat well, I feel better and this helps me throughout the day.

I’ve had times when I have indulged more than I should with food, eaten late and then find it extremely hard to get to sleep.

Have you heard the saying you are what you eat? That’s so true!

Melatonin (Sleep Hormone)

Do our bodies need to produce enough melatonin (sleep hormone) that helps us to sleep?

Yes, it does, melatonin helps you to sleep, melatonin levels are increased when it’s dark. Serotonin helps our bodies to get up and be awake, they work together.

If melatonin levels are low it causes us to become sleepy but being deficient in serotonin could be a sign of depression.

Let us look closely at these amazing foods and herbs that most of us have in our house. 

Lavender is a herb which also comes in an essential oil and a tea. Lavender is excellent in helping your body relax and be calm, it’s well known for its sleeping properties.

When I need to unwind, feel relaxed and be calm, I add 4 drops of Lavender essential oil to my diffuser, the benefits are amazing!

Chamomile Tea is refreshing and calming, Chamomile contains an antioxidant called Apigenin which is known to help you feel sleepy.

Pumpkin Seeds are a good source of nutrition as they contain zinc, tryptophan and magnesium, combined they can help you have a good night sleep.  Including pumpkin seeds in your diet daily can be beneficial.

Kiwi is high in antioxidants, studies have shown that consuming kiwi before bed can help you have a good night sleep.  

Mackerel, Salmon, Trout and Tuna which are oily fish have high amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin D which are beneficial to our body. These have been known to help promote a good nights sleep due to the high content of Vitamin D.

It’s important to have enough magnesium in our bodies as it helps to regulate sleep. Foods which contain magnesium are dark green leafy vegetables: Spinach, Kale, Spring Greens and Swiss Chard. Nuts high in magnesium eg, Almonds, Cashews, Brazil and Walnuts are also good and can be eaten as a snack before bed.

Also being low in potassium affects your sleep which I wasn’t aware of, bananas are a good source of potassium.

Find out 5 Factors of the importance of sleep and the effects on your skin.

Written and posted by Amanda Roberts, the Founder of Icylda Skincare on 5th August 2020

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