Getting a night of good sleep is incredibly important for our overall health. It helps us to maintain our optimal health and well-being. When it comes to our health, sleep is as vital as regular exercise and eating a balanced diet. This is because sleeping can reduce the risk of developing certain chronic illnesses, keep our brain and digestion healthy and boost your immune system. Doctors recommended getting between 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night will keep you energizing and stress-free throughout the day. However, many people struggle to get enough people.
In Malaysia, according to the 2018 National Sleep Survey conducted by Nielsen Malaysia, 9 out of 10 Malaysians suffer from one or more sleeping problems. 63% of young adults aged 25 – 29 years old in Malaysia are the largest age group who take longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep. The study also revealed that 50% of Malaysians rated their sleep quality as average. Meanwhile, 35% of Malaysians face sleeping problems once or twice a week, and 20% of them face it as often as three or four times a week. Shocking, isn’t it?
There are many strategies people use to fall asleep such as exercising, meditation, reading books and more. Some work and some don’t but one of the proven methods to improve sleeping quality is making changes to our diet, as some foods have better sleep-promoting properties compared to others. Taking both traditional knowledge and scientific research into account, Beauty Insider Malaysia presents you the best 10 foods and drinks to help you sleep better.
1. White or Brown Rice
White rice is a grain that is widely consumed as a staple food in Malaysia and many other countries around the world. It is suggested that eating foods with a high glycemic index, such as white rice, a few hours before bed may help improve sleep quality. Glycemic index is a measurement that shows how quickly food can increase our blood sugar. In a study, the sleep habits of 1,848 people were compared based on their intake of white rice and people who had higher rice intake slept better and longer.
But do bear in mind, white rice is higher in carbs and low in fibre, so overconsumption can make you fat and increase sugar level. The recommended portion for an adult is one cup. If you love rice but still do not want to gain weight, then why not opt for brown rice. The major difference between white and brown rice is that brown rice has had its bran and germ removed, which makes it lower in fibre, nutrients and antioxidants. Whether white or brown rice consumes it at least three hours before bedtime, give it some time to digest then hit the bed and you’ll sleep like a baby.
Snack on some Quaker Rice Cakes before bed.
Bananas are a great source of energy and people often start their day off with a banana and now studies show that munching on one at night can improve sleep quality. This is because bananas are a great source of potassium and magnesium, which can allow our body’s muscles to relax. Bananas also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps our body to produce serotonin that aids your body to regulate sleep. So, next time you get the late-night munchies, reach for that banana. Your body will thank you for this perfect bedtime snack with a good 8 hours of sleep!
On a side note, bananas are quite high in calories. One medium banana has about 105 calories. So, despite having a chock full of nutrients such as vitamin C and potassium, too much can make you fat so stick to one banana a day! As a beauty bonus, the potassium in bananas makes them a great food for healthy hair. But don’t overdo it too much potassium can actually lead to hair loss.
Munch on some yummy Amazin’ Graze Banana Bread Granola to sleep better!
Remember when we were kids our moms’ use to give us milk before bed? Well, they do that because milk contains ingredients that are known to help people sleep. Just like a banana, milk also contains high tryptophan, an amino acid that boosts sleep. Milk is also high in calcium, and maintaining calcium levels can help a person stay asleep. But not all types of milk promote sleep though, some kinds of milk such as matcha milk, strawberry milk or even full cream milk are high in fat and sugar level and can give you a sugar rush that will keep you awake all night!
The good old warm sugar-free milk will do just the trick. Try Nestle Just Milk Low Fat Milk. It is made from 100% imported ingredients, with just 2% of fat. It is packed with all the calciums an adult need and a perfect replacement for full cream milk.
4. Almond Nuts
Almonds are a type of nut with many health benefits. Eating almonds regularly have shown signs to lower the risks of a few chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This is attributed to their high content of healthy monounsaturated fat, fibre and antioxidants. Almonds, along with several other types of nuts, are a great source of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin. Almonds are also an excellent source of magnesium, providing 19% of our daily needs. Magnesium plays a big role in promoting sleep due to its ability to reduce inflammation.
Additionally, it may help reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is known to interrupt sleep.So, consuming an adequate amount of magnesium may help improve sleep quality, especially for those who have insomnia. If you want to eat almonds before bed to determine 28-gram which is about 30 pieces should be adequate enough. Almonds also have significant fat-burning power so overeating won’t make you fat instead helps you lose weight.
Why not try some Amazin’ Graze Pandan Coconut Nut Mix? It’s got all the right nuts to get you some good sleep!
Turkey is not just delicious and nutritious but it is also high in protein and low in fat Protein is important for keeping our muscles strong and regulating our appetite. Additionally, turkey is a good source of vitamins and minerals. Many people claim turkey is a great food to eat before bed due to its ability to promote sleepiness, although no studies have examined its role in sleep, specifically so it is hard to confirm Turkey’s potential role in improving sleep. However, eating some turkey before bed may be worth trying, especially if you have trouble falling asleep.
However, turkey does have a few properties that explain why some people may become sleepy after eating it. Most notably, it contains the amino acid tryptophan, which increases the production of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin. The protein in turkey may also contribute to its ability to promote tiredness. There is evidence that consuming moderate amounts of protein before bed is associated with better sleep quality.
You can get turkey meat at Tesco Malaysia or Jaya Grocers.
While oats are often associated with breakfast but they are also perfect before bed snack. Oats are a good natural source of melatonin and also another good source of tryptophan, especially when combined with milk. Furthermore, oats are rich in both calcium and magnesium, two minerals that have been proven to promote good quality sleep. For a warm, soothing snack before bed, try eating a small bowl of oats combined with it a few of your favourite toppings for a better taste and a deep sleep after that.
Quaker Instant Oatmeal should help you. It has less sugar and is a great source of calcium and magnesium. Plus, you can make it in just 90 minutes!
Fish, in general, are incredibly healthy but fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are the healthiest because of their exceptional vitamin D content. Additionally, fish are also high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids which can reduce inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids can protect us against heart disease and boost brainpower. The combination of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D in these fishes can enhance sleep quality, as both have been shown to increase the production of serotonin, a sleep-promoting brain chemical.
So, for better sleep eat more fish! You can have a few pieces of Watson’s Salted Egg Fish Skin!
Kiwis are super delicious and are low in calories and very nutritious! One medium kiwi contains only 50 calories and a significant amount of nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin K. It also contains a decent amount of folate and potassium, as well as several trace minerals. According to studies, kiwis may make you fall asleep better. In a four-week study, 24 adults consumed two kiwifruits an hour before going to bed and 42% of them sleep faster than when they didn’t eat anything before bedtime.
Furthermore, eating kiwis can also improve our digestive health. Bad digestion is often a reason to why some find it hard to sleep. Kiwi also reduces inflammation and lower cholesterol. Have a glass of Nestle Bliss Low Fat Apple Kiwi Yogurt Drink before bed for a night of better sleep.
9. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is a herbal tea that has been used traditionally for many years to treat a number of health ailments. It is a rich source of flavonoid antioxidants, which are known for their role in reducing inflammation, boosting immune health and reducing heart disease risk. Additionally, chamomile tea has been studied for its potential to reduce anxiety. There is also some evidence that drinking chamomile tea increases the production of the chemicals that works to inhibit other brain chemicals that induce stress.
Hence, all these calming properties of chamomile tea can increase sleepiness and unlike most teas, chamomile tea does not contain a high level of caffeine so do not the about the caffeine kicks! Have a cup of nice warm Twinings Pure Chamomile Caffeine Free Tea, and you can sleep in peace.
This might be surprising because honey is sweet and sugar usually keeps you awake but at night, your brain uses a lot of energy, so having a little extra sugar before bed can help your brain function better at night. Raw honey is preferentially used to stock liver glycogen, so it is used first for brain function and is 22% better at making chocolates and other sweet stuff you’ll find in the supermarkets. So, if you can’t sleep are looking for some midnight snack then, take 1-2 teaspoons of raw honey. Just that small amount of honey will raise blood glucose while you sleep too.
Try Jungle House Royal White Honey. It is perfect to be consumed at night as if helps regulate blood sugar and digestion.