We all know how important sleep is in maintaining weight, energy and – most of all, sanity. But try telling that to the newborn who needs a quick milk fix every few hours. Or the toddler who just got a brand new big girl bed and thinks it’s hilllllarious to barge into your room every fifteen minutes. All. Night. Long.
Sleep interruptions happen. Especially when you’re a mom. That’s why it’s helpful to understand what gets you in the slumbering mood, so you can quickly go back to bed – even if you won’t be staying there very long.
Sleep promoting foods can save your tired ass
These 7 foods will have you snoring faster than that old Calculus textbook:
1. Almonds – Almonds contain magnesium, the relaxation mineral. They’re also high in protein which means your blood sugar will stay nice and balanced while you’re sweet dreaming about winning the lotto and hiring that super fancy personal chef. Try a tablespoon of almond butter or a small handful of whole almonds to help your body and brain chillax.
2. Milk – Milk contains tryptophan and is high in calcium, which calms the brain. Dairy not only helps you sleep, it stops you from stressing over silly shit you can’t control, like the unfortunate text you just sent to your boss in your sleepless stupor: “I hope you enjoy coming with Sarah this weekend”. Coming. Camping. Same difference. Warm your milk up for an extra soothing effect or add a teaspoon of honey for a deeper dose of drowsy. And relax … you’ll probably still have a job in the morning.
3. Oats – Complex carbs like oats give you a little burst of energy followed by a crash. And since you’re looking to get some serious shut eye, crashing is exactly what you’re going for. Oats are also rich in vitamin B6, an anti-stress vitamin, and melatonin, the famous sleep regulating hormone. So snag an oatmeal raisin cookie and a glass of milk, or fix yourself a bowl of steamy gruel and you’ll soon be on your way to Shangri La La Land.
4. Wholegrain Toast with Honey – Like oatmeal, wholegrain toast is rich in complex carbs that spike your blood sugar and ultimately trigger the release of the relaxation chemicals tryptophan and serotonin – otherwise known as mom’s two best friends. The natural sugars found in honey give your insulin levels an extra boost and allow those feel good chemicals to easily enter your grey matter.
5. Rocky Mountain Oysters – Otherwise known as ball testicles, rocky mountain oysters probably won’t do crap for your sleep. Just checking to see if you’re still awake, seeing as you’re so sleep-starved. Gotta keep you on your toes.
6. Cherries – Cherries are one of the only natural food sources of melatonin. Tart cherries contain higher levels of melatonin, so pucker up and embrace the sour. Throw back a shot of pure cherry liqueur juice or chow down on some fresh, frozen or dried cherries to help kick your body into snooze mode.
7. Bananas – Bananas are loaded with potassium and magnesium, nature’s happy little muscle relaxants. They also contain more of that calming tryptophan which, ironically, can keep moms from going bananas in the first place. Toss one into your blender with some milk and you’ll be good to go … to bed.
The next time you-know-who wakes up because he can’t locate his super easy to find glow-in-the-dark binkie, try cooking up a bowl of oatmeal topped with honey, almonds, cherries, bananas and some warm milk. Don’t forget to share some with your little one! That ought to knock him out for a while.
Or … forget the sleep promoting foods and proceed right to your back-up plan: noise-canceling headphones and a good old-fashioned dead bolt for the bedroom door.