Coronavirus-induced insomnia is being widely reported around the country. Even before lockdown, many of us were having a rough time getting the right amount of quality sleep. Now, add on the stresses of a pandemic, a furlough or loss of a job, and extreme social distancing, plus isolation, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster when you’re head hits the pillow for some shut-eye.
On top of that, sleep “makes significant contributions to physical resilience (e.g., immune function) and psychological well-being (e.g., positive mood and resistance to stress). Therefore, most of us are dealing with a catch-22 situation. The less sleep you get, the more stress you feel, and less likely you’ll be able to adequately deal with it.
Now for the good news: There are lots of active actions you can take to help alleviate some of that stress-induced insomnia. From limiting screen time before bed to reducing news intake to exercising to eating a healthy sleep-friendly diet!
While all of these factors — plus a host more tips — are essential, sticking to a healthy diet may tie for the top of the list as a healthy sleep necessity.
What’s the connection?
Turns out the food you eat “relates directly to serotonin, a key hormone — along with Vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid — [that] helps promote healthy sleep.” This means you can integrate select foods into your diet — either throughout the day or before bed — that will help your body produce more serotonin and can aid your natural sleep cycle.
Alright, so what are these magical foods? You’ll want to focus on certain nuts, — almonds and walnuts — tea, — chamomile — fruit, — kiwi and bananas — oatmeal, and tart cherry juice.
We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help you get healthy! And, don’t forget to check out our Whole Foods Archives!
Didn’t think a sleep-friendly list would start with a sweet treat like these! This 3-Ingredient Salted Chocolate Almond Clusters recipe by Michele Elizabeth uses three simple ingredients — almonds, chocolate (choose a 70 percent or higher), and a little sea salt — for a delicious little pre-bed nibble to help you sleep better as they’re a “source of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin.”
This Chamomile Ginger Lemon Raw Energy Bars recipe by Sara Smith is the perfect recipe to give you a boost earlier in the day, while also prepping your body for higher production of sleep-inducing serotonin! A super simple and tasty way to balance calm energy with healthy sleep.
This Kiwi and Banana Smoothie recipe by Gabriela Lupu is the perfect combination of sweet and sleepy! Hosting kiwi — serotonin-rich — and banana — tryptophan and magnesium filled — if you’re itching for a healthy, after-dinner, late-night snack, this smoothie may be a great option.
This Banana Split Oatmeal with Roasted Almonds recipe by Natalie Yonan is a triple hitter when it comes to foods that will help you sleep. Not only is this recipe based around melatonin-rich oats, but it also uses bananas and almonds, both purported to help you sleep better.
Tart cherry juice has many health benefits, yet one of the most surprising is its effectiveness at relieving insomnia due to the high natural content of melatonin. This Raw Cherry Chocolate Tart recipe by Holly Jade is a great start, but make sure to add tart cherry juice on top of the raw cherries to really give it a good sleep-inducing effect!
Spring is quickly turning into summer in many states, making this Peach and Chamomile Ice Pops recipe by Azucena Noriega the perfect back-porch, pre-bed, lockdown-friendly treat to help you get a bit of shut-eye.
This Raw Chunky Monkey Banana Cream Pie recipe by Florian Nouh is another great dessert option for that post-dinner sugar craving! Plus, it’ll also help you fall and stay asleep due to that banana and those nuts!
This Almond and Chamomile Panna Cotta recipe by Valentina Goltara is loaded with a double-duo of sleep agents — almonds and chamomile! Plus, it makes for a great simple snack before bed that won’t keep you up all night.
Start the day by prepping for the night! This 4-Ingredient Vanilla Yogurt and Granola Breakfast Popsicles recipe by Ciarra Siller are nutrient-dense, providing your body the sustenance for the day, yet are rich with kiwi, helping to stimulate that serotonin for the evening.
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.
For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
- Plant-Based Health Resources
- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
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