Top superfoods for better sleep

85% of us struggle to sleep - sleep is vital for our wellbeing and mental health, our ability to manage emotional regulation, cognitive skills, problem solving and mental agility. Without it we are less able to cope.
By
Hayley Pedrick, Harley Street Nutritionist
January 24, 2019

85% of us struggle to sleep - sleep is vital for our wellbeing and mental health, our ability to manage emotional regulation, cognitive skills, problem solving and mental agility. Without it we are less able to cope.

Studies show that sleeping less than five hours a night increases the risk of death from all causes by about 15%.

Understanding the best superfoods to include in your diet can help you transform your Sleep so you can be at the top of your game.

If you feel you could benefit from better quality and quantity of sleep these are our top super food recommendations:

1. Ensure you are eating protein rich meals throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels stable

L-tryptophan is a sleep-promoting substance and the body converts it to serotonin, the good mood neurotransmitter which gives a sense of calm. Some of this serotonin is then converted into melatonin, the hormone that manages your sleep-wake cycle that can have a sedative effect.

Foods that are high in tryptophan include: chicken, oats, milk, fish, dairy, nuts and seeds. So incorporate plenty of these into your dinner to get you feeling sleepy by bedtime.

Enjoy: Chicken and turkey cooked in stir fries or added to salads as well as sprinkling nuts and seeds onto your meal

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2. Increase your levels of calcium and magnesium- our sleep supportive minerals. 

Disturbances in deep sleep are related to calcium deficiency whilst magnesium is associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep.

High magnesium and calcium foods include dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale and broccoli. Aim to eat at least 3 cups of dark leafy vegetables a day.

Enjoy: Raw in smoothies or salads. When using kale in salads go easy on the quantity and throw on salad oil and seasoning and rub the leaves between fingers and thumbs to help to soften the leaves and improve digestibility. Kale also works well mixed into scrambled eggs, or baked meals such as macaroni cheese or frittata. It is also a lovely side dish lightly steamed, sautéed in butter and garlic.

3. Add in additional supplements such as Cherry Active.

A number of small studies show that this supplement, made of sour Montmorency cherries, may reduce insomnia in older adults. The dose of 2 tbsp, twice daily for a period of 2 weeks was the equivalent of eating around 100 cherries per day.
Cherries are high in vitamin C which supports the immune system and is a key element in the creation of collagen - hence the anti-aging claims. They are also high in flavanoids like quercetin and a reddy-purpley pigment called anthocyanin which are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Enjoy: 2tbsp twice a day of Cherry Active from Active Edge, mixed in water


Join us for our free 30 minute webinar on Super-foods for the Super-busy on the 30th of January, at 1.30pm. This workshop will explore the ‘everyday’ as well as the ‘exotic’ - superfoods you can incorporate into your diet to supercharge your energy resources and bring the body back to equilibrium, ready to power through your day. Book your slot here.

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