Hard to believe, but true: one in eight Germans suffers from problems falling asleep. In addition to numerous factors such as sleeping habits or physical activity, diet also has a major influence on our sleeping behavior and can improve sleep and specifically the ability to fall asleep through the intake of certain nutrients. We'll show you which foods have a positive effect on falling asleep and thus naturally support our sleep.
Table of Contents
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Sleep & Eating Habits
- Foods that promote sleep
- Foods that disrupt sleep
1. Difficulty falling asleep
One in eight of us has problems falling asleep - this is the result of a study by the Techniker Krankenkasse. Worries, stress or health problems are often responsible for the fact that we cannot fall asleep despite being tired or that we sometimes keep waking up.
Numerous home remedies, such as hot milk with honey, are known to help you fall asleep naturally. Rightly so, because our diet has a major influence on sleep. Here you can find out how your eating habits affect your sleep and which foods you should eat before bed to make it easier to fall asleep.
2. Sleep & Eating Habits
How, what and when we eat is crucial for our sleep, because a full stomach doesn't like sleeping. The last major meal of the day should therefore take place at least three hours before going to bed and should not be too heavy. Lavish meals stimulate digestion too much and make it difficult not only to fall asleep comfortably, but also to sleep soundly through the night! It is also important to have an overall vitamin-rich and balanced diet that supplies the body with important nutrients and thus supports physiological processes and recovery during sleep.
3. Foods that promote sleep
#1 Melatonin suppliers: Grapes, red wine
The hormone melatonin controls our body's day-night rhythm and in this way ensures regular sleep. Grapes have been proven to be a natural way to supply the body with missing melatonin if you have sleep problems. Consuming around 300 grams of grapes in the evening can have a positive effect on sleep at night - just like a glass of red wine. But be careful: alcohol is not a solution to sleep disorders, but can make them even worse. However, there is nothing wrong with a relaxing glass of red wine (up to 200ml) in the evening.
#2 Tryptophan sources: bananas, almonds
Bananas and almonds contain the amino acid tryptophan, which stimulates the body to produce the hormones melatonin and serotonin. Serotonin, also known as the happiness hormone, has a tension-relieving and mood-enhancing effect and thus supports the relaxation process before sleep. Almonds and bananas are therefore healthy home remedies for sleep disorders, which also provide the body with many other vitamins and minerals.
#3 Rich in magnesium: pumpkin seeds, millet, whole grain bread/pasta
The mineral magnesium allows the organism to sleep better and helps to relax the muscles - an important prerequisite for deep sleep. If you don't have enough magnesium in your body, you may have problems falling asleep and muscle cramps at night. Healthy sources of magnesium include pumpkin seeds, millet or whole-grain bread and whole-grain pasta.
4. Foods that disrupt sleep
#1 Foods containing caffeine: coffee, cola, black tea
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and prevents us from calming down. Foods containing caffeine should therefore be avoided in the last 3-4 hours before going to bed so that it does not disrupt falling asleep and staying asleep.
#2 Alcohol in large quantities
Consuming alcohol in the evening makes many people tired. A glass of beer or red wine in the evening is perfectly acceptable. However, in large quantities, alcohol has a negative impact on sleep due to the breakdown products produced during digestion and can lead to problems falling asleep and staying asleep.
#3 Highly acidic, fatty and sugary foods
Highly acidic foods, such as citrus fruits or pickles, stimulate digestion and stimulate circulation, as the body has to regulate pH levels. Digesting fatty and highly sugary foods also puts strain on the stomach and intestines and makes it difficult to fall asleep in the evening, which is why heavy and highly acidic meals should be avoided before going to bed.
. and what about the hot milk with honey?
In fact, the calcium, magnesium and protein contained in milk can help relax the muscles and nervous system before going to sleep, and the amino acid tryptophan, from which the sleep hormone melatonin is formed, is also found in dairy products. But you shouldn't overdo it with the honey, as it quickly affects the blood sugar level - and then disrupts your sleep!
You can find more expert tips on how to improve your ability to fall asleep in this article.
Have a last, light meal at least three hours before going to bed
Grapes or a(!) glass of red wine provide the body with the hormone melatonin, which regulates the circadian rhythm and promotes falling asleep
Bananas and almonds contain the amino acid tryptophan and support the production of melatonin and serotonin in the body, which helps us relax and fall asleep better
The mineral magnesium relaxes the muscles and allows the organism to sleep better. Pumpkin seeds, millet and whole grain products, for example, have a high magnesium content.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol before going to bed and avoid highly acidic foods as well as fat and sugar bombs
Greetings and see you soon!