What are the best foods for sleep? Harvard study reveals answers

Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for overall wellbeing and a recent study conducted by Harvard sheds light on surprising advice for achieving better sleep [1].

The study, led by a Harvard psychiatrist, delves into the connection between dietary choices and sleep quality, uncovering some unexpected findings [2]. 

While conventional wisdom often focuses on avoiding certain foods before bedtime, this research offers a nuanced perspective.

One key revelation is the potential sleep benefits of kiwi [3]. The Harvard study suggests that consuming two kiwis an hour before bedtime significantly improves sleep duration and quality.

Kiwi, rich in antioxidants and serotonin, could be a natural remedy for those struggling with insomnia or restless nights.

Contrary to popular belief, incorporating certain carbohydrates into your evening snack might aid in better sleep.

The study recommends opting for jasmine rice over other varieties. Jasmine rice has a high glycemic index, which could contribute to a more restful night’s sleep compared to lower glycemic index options.

The research also challenges the notion that protein consumption should be minimized before bedtime [4].

The study indicates that having a small serving of turkey or a protein-rich snack may promote better sleep. Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid known for its potential to induce drowsiness.

Beyond specific food choices, the study emphasizes the importance of maintaining a consistent eating schedule. Regular meal times and large meals too close to bedtime can positively impact sleep quality. 

Establishing a routine and allowing at least two hours between your last meal and bedtime could contribute to more restorative sleep.

While caffeine is often regarded as a sleep disruptor, having a cup of chamomile tea or warm milk before bedtime might positively impact sleep.

Chamomile tea contains antioxidants with calming effects and the warmth of milk can evoke a sense of comfort, potentially aiding relaxation.

Additionally, the study highlights the significance of hydration for quality sleep. Dehydration can lead to discomfort and increased wakefulness during the night.

However, it’s advisable to moderate fluid intake close to bedtime to avoid disruptions due to bathroom visits [5].

The Harvard study challenges conventional wisdom regarding sleep and nutrition. Embracing a two-kiwi snack, incorporating jasmine rice and protein-rich options, maintaining a consistent eating schedule and considering bedtime beverages like chamomile tea or warm milk are among the unexpected recommendations.

[1] https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/want-better-sleep-a-harvard-psychiatrist-shares-some-surprising-advice.html
[2] https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/could-what-we-eat-improve-our-sleep-2021030922112
[3] https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/15/10/2274
[4] https://www.sleep.com/sleep-health/foods-that-help-you-sleep
[5] https://www.everydayhealth.com/sleep/how-does-hydration-affect-your-sleep/

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