There’s no doubt about it: What you eat affects your sleep. As you likely know, failing to clock enough hours of solid sleep can wreak havoc on your diet, wellness routine and energy levels. We interviewed Kimberly Snyder, celebrity nutritionist, wellness entrepreneur and four-time New York Times best-selling author of The Beauty Detox series, to pull together a cheat sheet that’ll help you eat to sleep.
The Sleep / Diet Connection
Have your eating habits been a little less intuitive and a little more focused on processed, grab-and-go meals? We bet you’ll notice that fatigue is quick to follow, along with even more cravings. “Sleep deprivation leads you to really want those high-calorie foods that; on a better day when you were thinking more clearly, you’d be able to resist,” Kimberly validates.
According to Kimberly, your goal should be to consume as much nutrition as you can without a digestive burden. “Many foods on the market—such as refined sugars and excessive meat—can be really hard to digest,” she explains. “On the other hand, foods that restore our natural energy include natural super energizers such as bee pollen or goji berries. Both have a ton of nutrition, including the B vitamins. Plant beauty foods are also super energizers to help replenish us from stress, while digesting easily and having lots of fiber to provide sustained energy without weighing us down.”
5 Foods That’ll Help You Sleep Better
“Tryptophan is an amino acid that can help the brain get into a relaxed state, similar to melatonin. A good source of plant-based food items to obtain tryptophan from includes carbohydrates like brown rice, corn or quinoa,” Kimberly explains.
According to Kimberly, studies have shown that higher magnesium levels in the body can help you have a deeper sleep; they also show that higher levels of magnesium provide better, more consistent sleep. “Some wonderful plant based ways to get more magnesium are foods like spinach, pumpkin seeds and even dark chocolate!” she says.
Does anxiety keep you up at night? “Passion flower has many benefits including its calming and anti-anxiety effect that can help you fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer,” Kimberly acknowledges. “Clinical trials help back up the effectiveness of passion flower and how it can reduce anxiety as effectively as the prescribed drug known as benzodiazepine oxazepam. Even more, since passion flower isn’t a drug, it won’t leave you feeling groggy or tired the next day or with other adverse effects.”
“It’s always nice to sip on something hot and comforting at night,” Kimberly notes. “I choose an evening elixir, such as the Nourish Your Nervous System Elixir. I like to have hot hemp milk and I stir in different spices such as cinnamon.”
“Mushrooms like reishi, wulinshen and others are loaded with potent nutrients that increase the oxygenation of your blood, boost your immune system, lower inflammation and so much more,” Kimberly raves. “These are all factors that can contribute to quality sleep.”