How to sleep: Complex carbs among the ‘best’ foods to eat before bed says health body

How to sleep: Complex carbs among the ‘best’ foods to eat before bed says health body

Doctor reveals his tips for the best night's sleep

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On the best food to consume before going to bed, experts at Holland and Barrett say: “The best foods for before you go to bed tend to be complex carbs, protein, fruit or vegetables – it’s not advisable to scoff a bag of sweets or drink a fizzy sugary drink before you want to sleep.”

The popular health chain also has a list of food and drink it suggests are good for sleep.

First on this list are oats.

“They contain both melatonin and the amino acid tryptophan that helps create melatonin, which helps our brain send signals to the rest of our body that it’s time for sleep,” said a spokesperson.

The reason tryptophan is so important is because it: “also helps our bodies create the hormone serotonin that helps us to relax.

“A lot of sleep problems are exacerbated by anxiety and excessive worrying, so the more serotonin, the better.”

Should someone desire something a bit off the wall for assisting with sleep, kiwi fruit is also recommended due to their serotonin supporting nutrients.

Alternatively, a seasonal favourite could be used should kiwi fruit not be preferred.

While not strictly limited to consumption during the latter half of the year, the experts state turkey “is high in protein, including the amino acid tryptophan to help us make serotonin and melatonin”.

While this sounds promising there is one caveat to this statement in that more research is required to identify a link between turkey and improved sleep quality.

As well as dairy, tart cherries, oats, and kiwi fruit, H&B also recommended:
• Soy products
• Oily fish
• Almonds
• Walnuts
• Barley grass powder
• Chamomile tea
• Lettuce
• Corn
• Grapes
• Strawberries
• Tomatoes
• Peppers
• Mushrooms
• Mustard seeds
• Pistachios
• Rice.

Away from diet, the NHS has a number of tips on how to fall sleep such as sleeping at regular times, winding down before bed, making the bedroom sleep friendly, and keeping a sleep diary.

On the sleep diary the NHS recommends: “If you see your GP or a sleep expert, they will probably ask you to keep a sleep diary to help them diagnose your sleep problems.

“A sleep diary can also reveal underlying conditions that explain your insomnia, such as stress or medicine.”

For more information on how to beat insomnia contact the NHS or consult with your GP.

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