Did you know that some of your seemingly harmless habits could be disrupting your sleep by suppressing your body’s melatonin production? A study by Brigham Women’s Hospital found that something we are all guilty of doing, using electrical lights right before bedtime, can significantly suppress melatonin production.
A call into the common-sense bureau told us that we should cut that out – or rather switch off the lights sooner than right before we climb into bed. An hour before is suggested. You would be using dimmers and candles for that period right before bed and, quite frankly, I don’t know why everyone isn’t doing it. Because even if you don’t have a sleep problem, candlelit evenings and the tranquility that it brings are so damn sexy and relaxing.
And there is something else you can do to improve your melatonin situation. You can eat more foods that are naturally high in melatonin.
Here are 5 such foods that we like.
1. Goji Berries
Native to Asia, goji berries are one of those superfoods that have been linked to a long list of health benefits going way back.
They are great for your skin, can help you fight off a cold, and are known for their energy boost. Goji berries are also high in melatonin and can improve your sleep due to their calming effect on your central nervous system.
Add them to your favorite trail mix, use them in place of raisins on your cereal, drink goji berry teas and juices and add them to soups, which is how many people in Chinese cultures have been using goji berries for thousands of years.
Most nuts are a good source of melatonin, but pistachios are said to have one of the highest. It helps that they taste great and that you can find them in most supermarkets and health food stores.
Pistachios are a great source of healthy fats and various nutrients that your body thrives on, including vitamin B6 and thiamine.
This is another snack on the list that you can eat anytime, but nutritionists recommend eating one-quarter cup an hour before bed to aid in sleep.