Nights are getting longer, the air is starting to bite and the cosiness of the fire, sofa and an evening with your latest box-set is starting to look more appealing. None of this, however, would be complete without a tasty treat, some sustenance to get you through this marathon. You’re only human.
There are mixed messages on whether or not we should be eating so close to bedtime and there are certainly some foods that should be avoided if you do struggle getting to sleep (caffeine, chocolate and cheese are unfortunately up there). However, there are some foods that will in fact aid you in getting a better night’s slumber, so we’ve rounded up our top five stomach-filling, taste bud-tingling, sleep-inducing snacks.
These delicious stalked bundles of joy are a perfect pre-bed snack. Not only do they taste divine, they are also one of the only natural sources of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycle. Furthermore, they are full of carbohydrates which help to reset your circadian clock through their increase in insulin secretion meaning you’ll sleep and wake at the right times for your body.
Hummus and raw vegetables
The chickpeas in hummus are full of vitamin B6 which is a necessary component in the production of melatonin. In addition, raw vegetables are full of complex carbohydrates, giving you a decent amount of your daily vegetable allowance and are just generally a great hummus accompaniment.
Nut butter, banana and wholemeal bread
A winning combination in every sense. Bread (tasting best when toasted) provides carbohydrates to stimulate release of insulin, helping to clear the way for sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan to flow through the blood stream and up to the brain. Nut butter (peanut or almond are preferred) provides healthy doses of magnesium and tryptophan, and bananas contain natural muscle relaxant potassium.
Porridge or wholegrain cereal
Complex carbohydrates found in both the oats and wholegrain cereals work with tryptophan-rich milk and help produce sleep-inducing brain chemicals, melatonin and serotonin. Jazz it up by mixing in some extras; berries, bananas and cinnamon are all healthy, hearty sleep supporters.
Yoghurt with berries
The calcium found in yoghurt works as a natural muscle relaxant, staving off insomnia and helping to send you off into a deep, nourishing sleep. The vitamin B6 found in berries help produce more melatonin, keeping your sleep regulated and your taste buds content.