Snacking for sleep is a tool you can use to support the neurotransmitters responsible for sending you off into a blissful sleep. By increasing specific types of foods, you can boost nutrients which are required for healthy neurotransmitter function.
Tryptophan, an amino acid found in protein, is a useful sleep aid because it has the ability to boost brain levels of neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin. These neurotransmitters have a calming and drowsy effect to induce sleep.
Increasing magnesium rich foods, supports relaxation in the body and sleep quality. Other nutrients, such as vitamin B6 support these processes by assisting the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin and melatonin.
Super quick night time snacks:
- Cottage cheese with apple or oatcakes
- Yoghurt - the calcium found in cheese, yoghurt, milk, helps the brain use the tryptophan found in dairy to manufacture sleep-triggering melatonin.
- Nuts, unsalted – Make a trail mix with walnuts, almonds and brazil nuts.
- Bananas - contain magnesium to relax your muscles, making you more liable to sleep. They also have vitamin B6 which converts tryptophan in your body into serotonin.
- Kiwis & raspberries - contain melatonin
- Honey - the glucose in honey tells the brain to shut off the chemical orexin which keeps the brain alert. So in turn will make you more sleepy.
- Dark chocolate - for serotonin & magnesium (to relax muscles)
- Oats – granola bars / porridge/ bircher muesli