Somewhere between 50 and 70 million adults in the U.S. are affected by a sleep disorder, according to the American Sleep Association. To get decent shut-eye, people have turned to pills, melatonin, marijuana and CBD, among many other things. Now, one food in particular is being touted as the sleep aid you’ve been looking for. It’s a simple, four-letter word: kiwi.
Kiwi contains compounds and antioxidants that promote sleep health—including serotonin.
According to a recent study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, routine consumption of kiwifruit can dramatically improve both the quality and duration of sleep among populations suffering from chronic sleep disorders.
Participants involved in the report who consumed two kiwifruits one hour before bed appeared to enjoy the most pronounced benefits.
Not only did they fall asleep 42% more quickly compared to when they didn’t eat anything before their assigned bedtime, their ability to sleep through the night without waking up increased by roughly 5%, and their total sleep time increased by 13%.
Yes,eating before bed can be beneficial to sleep health
This may seem counter-intuitive considering health systems often frown on late-night snacking.
Turns out what we eat matters more than when we eat with respect to overall sleep health. The data suggests that you are better off eating “small, nutrient-dense, low energy foods and/or single macronutrients rather than large mixed-meals,” The National Library of Medicine reports.
Portion control is also important. Overeating before bed can disrupt digestive patterns that can in turn cause us to toss and turn before reaching deep sleep.
Other sleep-inducing foods for late-night snacking
It’s not enough to get eight hours of sleep in order to maximize health benefits. Sleep quality plays as big a role as sleep duration if you want to ensure you wake up feeling rested and productive.
This is where the choice of late-night snacks enters the equation.
Almonds, for instance, are reported to provide an excellent source of melatonin (a hormone responsible for sleep regulation and our internal clock) as well as magnesium (a mineral that helps our nervous system to decrease in activity before bed.) See the study in the Natural Journal of Medicine.
Walnuts provide similar sleep-enhancing properties via amino acids that help our bodies produce serotonin and melatonin. Plus, the foods listed above come with the added benefit of containing relatively few calories. provide similar sleep-enhancing properties via amino acids that help our bodies produce serotonin and melatonin.
Shrimp, clams, cockles, and crab also contain high amounts of magnesium, in addition to reducing depression rates among men. Nothing like a good jumbo shrimp right before bed!
But a kiwi may be a perfect before sleep-snack on a hot summer night if you want to feel refreshed and raring to go in the morning.