Foods that help with sleep. Too good to be true? I recently stumbled upon these GoodNight Bites in review of the top food trends of 2019: “foods that address sleep.” Even with a full night’s sleep; I still felt cranky about this product. They were extremely pricey, tasted like chalk, and contained chocolate. Sadly, the minute amount of caffeine in chocolate will keep me up.  ⁣Hence, my quest to create my own tasty sleep-inducing food at a fraction of a cost.

Our Status of Sleep

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 1/3 of adults get an average 6 hours of sleep or less per night. Sleep, in my opinion, is the number one way we can care for ourselves. It has the largest impact on our mental and physical health. It’s the first place I start when I work privately with my clients.

Foods That Help With Sleep: Sleepytime Bites

Is it too good to be true? Could the right foods help us get a better night’s sleep? Research shows some promise. Below, are a few foods I included in our Sleepytime Bites. The optimal time to enjoy them is 2 hours before bed.

Foods That Help With Sleep

  • Chamomile Tea: While the sleep benefits of chamomile tea are sparse, there is still good reason to include this tea in your evening routine. A 2016 study of new mothers found that women who drank chamomile tea every day for two weeks slept better and tended to have fewer symptoms of depression compared to women who didn’t drink the  chamomile tea. A 2017 study found that elderly patients who took a supplement chamomile extract slept significantly better than those who did not take the chamomile extract.
  • Walnuts: Walnuts contain an amino acid tryptophan. This “sleep inducing” amino acid when taken one to two hours before bed may help you fall asleep faster. They also contain their own source of melatonin, another sleep promoting hormone.
  • Tart Cherries: Several smaller studies have shown that a supplement of tart cherry juice increased melatonin, total sleep time and sleep efficiency compared to a placebo. The benefits of cherries are likely related to their high concentration of melatonin and antioxidants. Their antioxidant power of cherries may help promote sleep by minimizing oxidative damage.
  • Almonds: Almonds may help with sleep due to their high magnesium content. Low magnesium levels are associated with symptoms of restless legs and sleep difficulty. If you suffer from these conditions, try eating almonds daily or ask your dietitian/physician if taking a daily magnesium supplement may be helpful .

In addition to “Foods that may help with sleep,” for a more comprehensive sleep plan, check out our post: 12 Steps to Better Sleep.

 

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Chamomile Tea Sleepy Bites


  • Author: Jennifer McDaniel
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 24 bites 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 c. dates, pitted
  • 1/2 c. dried tart cherries
  • 1/2 c. walnut halves
  • 1/2 c. instant rolled oats
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 T. chamomile tea leaves
  • 1/3 c. almond butter

Instructions

  1. Add dates, cherries, walnuts, chamomile tea and oats to a food processor.
  2. Process until ingredients for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is completely blended into a medium-sized crumb.
  3. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add honey  and almond butter. Mix until almond butter and honey are  evenly distributed.
  4. Form into 12-15 bites. My bites were slightly smaller than a golf ball.
  5. Enjoy now or place in the fridge.  Energy bites will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
  • Category: snack
  • Method: food processor

Keywords: chamomile tea bites

 

 

Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.