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Foods and Habits for a Restful You

Whether it’s a jolt after a cup of coffee or drowsiness after Thanksgiving dinner, most people have personally experienced how food and drinks can affect their energy and alertness.

Researchers, including nutritionists and sleep experts, have conducted different types of studies to try to discover the best foods for sleep. While this research provides important clues, it’s not conclusive.

Both diet and sleep are complex, which means there’s no silver bullet or single food that is guaranteed to help with sleep. However, there are some foods and drinks that may make it easier to get a great night’s sleep.Why Specific Foods Can Affect Sleep
There are indications that certain foods can make you sleepy or promote better sleep. Sometimes this is based on a particular research study and in other cases on the underlying nutritional components of the food or drink
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.

That said, the range of varieties of cultivars of most foods means that their nutrient profile can be inconsistent. For example, some varieties of red grapes
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have high levels of melatonin while others have virtually none. Climate and growing conditions may further alter the nutrients in any particular food product.Dietary choices affect more than just energy and sleepiness; they can play a major role in things like weight, cardiovascular health, and blood sugar levels just to name a few. For that reason, it’s best to consult with a doctor or dietician before making significant changes to your daily diet. Doing so helps ensure that your food choices support not just your sleep but all of your other health priorities as well.

The kiwi or kiwifruit is a small, oval-shaped fruit popularly associated with New Zealand even though it is grown in numerous countries. There are both green and gold varieties, but green kiwis are produced in greater numbers.

Kiwifruit possess numerous vitamins and minerals
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, most notably vitamins C and E as well as potassium and folate.

Some research has found that eating kiwi can improve sleep
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. In a study, people who ate two kiwis one hour before bedtime found that they fell asleep faster, slept more, and had better sleep quality.

It is not known for sure why kiwis may help with sleep, but researchers believe that it could relate to their antioxidant properties, ability to address folate deficiencies, and/or high concentration of serotonin.As the name indicates, tart cherries have a distinct flavor from sweet cherries. Sometimes called sour cherries, these include cultivars like Richmond, Montmorency, and English morello. They may be sold whole or as a tart cherry juice.

Several studies have found sleep benefits
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for people who drink tart cherry juice. In one study, people who drank two one-cup servings of tart cherry juice per day were found to have more total sleep time and higher sleep efficiency.

These benefits may come from the fact that tart cherries have been found to have above-average concentrations of melatonin, which is a hormone that helps regulate circadian rhythm and promote healthy sleep. Tart cherries may also have an antioxidant effect that is conducive to sleep.

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