If you’re having a hard time sleeping, here is the reason why you should be eating a banana before bed every night!
We’ve all been there. Lying awake, staring at the clock, and wondering if we are ever going to fall asleep.
Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on our productivity and our health. Instead of reaching for those questionable sleeping pills, you might have better luck snacking on a banana before bed.
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Eating a Banana Before Bed
Bananas are rich in potassium, a mineral that our body needs for many different functions, including sleep. Potassium acts as a natural muscle relaxer, helping us to stay asleep longer.
Bananas are also rich in magnesium, an essential mineral that acts as a natural sedative. Several studies have found magnesium to help treat insomnia and other sleep-related disorders (1).
Bananas are a natural source of tryptophan, an amino acid known for its sedative effects. You may have heard of tryptophan referred to during your thanksgiving feast.
It is found in foods such as turkey, as well as bananas. Tryptophan helps to increase melatonin, an essential hormone in our sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin is also a common supplement for the sleep-deprived.
This starchy fruit is gentle on the stomach, making it perfect to eat before bed.
Trying to sleep when you are hungry or consuming a large meal right before bed is a common contributor to wakefulness. If you are struggling with sleep, grab a banana about an hour before you plan to go to bed.
A Banana Before Bed Sleep Pairings
Bananas are a great evening snack to help you catch those z’s. But for those who really want to push the bar, try pairing your banana with other great sleep foods to get more bang for your buck.
An example of a great sleep pairing is bananas and nut butter. Nuts are rich in magnesium and tryptophan, helping to further boost your levels and get your body ready for rest.
Below are some other great evening snack foods to help with sleep (2).
- Tart cherries
- Nuts and seeds
- Low sugar yogurt
When choosing an evening snack to help with sleep, be sure to avoid anything that contains high amounts of caffeine or added sugars. These can inhibit sleep.
Be sure to avoid consuming a large meal right before laying down. A good rule of thumb is to wait at least 3 hours after a meal before laying down to allow for digestion to occur. Wait at least 1 hour after having a small snack to avoid an upset stomach.
Below are some foods to avoid before bed (2).
- Acidic foods
- Spicy foods
- High fat/fried foods
Instead of reaching for pills and supplements, a banana can be a great way to boost your sleep routine. Get back on track to a more productive and energized day with a simple snack.
Try combining it with other sleep-inducing foods, such as nuts or nut butter, and avoid any caffeine or added sugars before bed. Sleep is essential for our health and well-being. Not to mention, our sanity.