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Ah, sleep. Who knew something we protested so much as children would become something we value so much as adults? Whether it’s because of our increased work and personal demands, inability to unplug from our smartphones at night, or stress that is, unfortunately, keeping us up, the United States seems to be in a nationwide sleep-deprived state. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sleep deprivation – less than 7 hours per night – has been linked to irritability, anxiety, lack of motivation or energy, forgetfulness, and even poor decisions. Sleep is yet another crucial piece of the complex health puzzle that impacts our overall wellbeing and quality of life.
And as with most things related to our health, the foods we eat and the activities we engage in can make an impact. While there’s no silver bullet or magic weapon to suddenly guarantee you’ll get a solid night’s sleep, a diet rich in unprocessed, whole foods is a great way to start.
Below are seven foods that may positively impact your sleep quality or promote a night of restful sleep.
If you’re hungry prior to bedtime, opt for a simple smoothie that will leave you feeling satisfied and not overly stuffed. Make this recipe below and divide it into two portions: one small glass for tonight and one for tomorrow. Sweet dreams!
Sip on this smoothie before it’s time to hit the hay. This ingredient combination of complex carbohydrates and calcium-rich protein may gear you up for a restful night’s sleep. Feel free to top your small smoothie with some dark chocolate shavings or 1 to 2 tablespoons of dried tart cherries.
McKenzie is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, nutrition writer and communicator, who truly loves meeting and connecting with people. Grounded in science with an integrative and holistic approach, she aims to make the world a healthier, happier place by helping people feel their best from the inside out and encouraging others to restore a judgment-free relationship with food. McKenzie has been a contributing editor for the award-winning publicationEnvironmental Nutrition and her numerous articles, nutrition tips, and recipes can be found in publications such as The Chicago Tribune, Today’s Dietitian, Food and Nutrition Magazine, and more.
McKenzie graduated magna cum laude from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Nutrition and completed her dietetic internship at Bastyr University in Seattle. She is a member of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a member of the dietetic practice group, Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine. When she’s not dishing out nutrition tidbits, you can find McKenzie cooking in her sunny kitchen, hiking along with her favorite Southern California trails, or packing her bags and heading out for her next adventure.