Eating fruit before bed tops the list of tips for getting a better quality sleep. Are you aware of the other key lifestyle choices that could help you drift off?
Eating a banana for dinner could be the key to a good night’s sleep, according to a charity specialising in sleep support.
The Sleep Charity has released its top five tips for how to get better quality sleep in 2024, with fruit consumption shortly before bed topping the list.
It says bananas in particular can help you drift off due to their high level of magnesium and potassium, which help to relax muscles.
Bananas also contain the amino acid tryptophan, which stimulates production of brain-calming hormones, it adds.
Fruit also encourages the production of melatonin, a hormone that occurs naturally in your body which plays a big role in how well you sleep.
Grapes, tart cherries and strawberries are the best sources of melatonin among fruits, according to a study published in a special issue of Antioxidants in Health and Disease.
Fruit isn’t the only food that can earn you a well-needed rest.
The Sleep Charity also recommends almonds, fish, whole-grain cereals and oatcakes with cheese to help you drift off. It also says marmite contains natural substances that help induce sleep.
Whatever you have, it’s important to keep your meal before bed light.
Eating a big meal just before bedtime can lead to discomfort and indigestion, the charity warns, adding that spicy food in particular is a recipe for sleeping disaster.
Similarly, high carbohydrate foods like bread, pasta and rice can stimulate your acid production and keep you up longer, while too much chocolate can subject you to a caffeine overload.
What else is on the list of tips?
Your diet isn’t the only lifestyle choice that impacts your sleep.
Here are The Sleep Charity’s other tips:
• Switch off screens – Screens can suppress the body’s production of melatonin
• Do relaxing activities like reading. A bath shortly before bed can also help
• Try meditation
• Create the “ideal bedroom environment” – The charity says making your room cool, dark and quiet is key, along with keeping clutter out of sight.
The Sleep Charity’s deputy CEO, Lisa Artis, said: “Sleep is hugely important to leading a healthier and happier life, and we want everyone to share that sentiment and understand the importance of sleep as part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
“Building a good sleep routine, and sticking to it, will help increase positivity and reduce levels of stress, meaning people can start the New Year feeling refreshed.”