Sleep is a necessary part of our everyday schedules, but when we don’t sleep well we lose some of the benefits of a good night’s rest. These 10 recipes will help you sleep better; improving your sleep quality has never tasted better.
1. Salmon has vitamin B6 which is a necessary element of melatonin production, a sleep triggering hormone. Both the Honey Baked Salmon and the Rosemary Walnut Crusted Salmon with Garlic Aioli are great options because in addition to salmon, honey and walnuts are known for improving the efficiency of tryptophan, a sleep enhancing amino acid, in the brain.
2. When you consume whole wheat before bed, the carbohydrates raise levels of tryptophan in the brain. Try serving the Whole Wheat Israeli Couscous or Challah and Whole Wheat Bread Stuffing with Cherries and Chestnuts. In the mood for breakfast-for-dinner? Top the Oatmeal Pecan Waffles (or Pancakes) with yogurt. Your sleep with benefit not only from the whole wheat, but also the yogurt and oatmeal.
3. Because rice is high in the glycemic index, it shortens the time it takes to fall asleep. Make it a meal with Avocado Stuffed Salmon with Wild Rice or Sweet and Sour Chicken with Sesame Rice, or as sides with Long Grain and Wild Rice Salad or Wild Rice Pancakes.
4. The calcium in Kale helps the brain use tryptophan and manufacture melatonin. Two wonderful kale salads are Braised and Raw Kale with Pine Nuts and Grilled Plums with Chopped Kale and Warm Honey-Thyme Vinaigrette.
5. Lettuce and Spinach are leafy greens with lactucarium, which has sedative properties. These greens are so versatile and can be served raw or cooked for example as lettuce cups in the Vegan Thai Lettuce Cups with Peanut Sauce or the Calypso Fish Lettuce Wrap Steamer, or Wilted Spinach with Crispy Garlic and Creamy Mushroom Risotto with Spinach Walnut Salad.
6. Chickpeas are abundant in vitamin B6, which helps produce melatonin. Chickpeas are so versatile, some classics includes Roasted Garlic Hummus with Oven Baked Pita or Hummus and Eggplant with Roasted Garlic and Pine Nuts. Or get the sleep benefits of rice and chickpeas by serving Channa Masala with plain white rice.
7. The calcium in cheese helps the brain manufacture melatonin. While cheese is high in calories, the richness lends itself to small portions that are still satisfying. Try the Goat Cheese Walnut Salad, Italian Vegetable Soup with Cheese Bread, or Tomato Basil and Goat Cheese Quiche.
8. Tuna, similar to Salmon and Chickpeas, is high in B6 which helps in the production of melatonin. Include multiple sleep-friendly foods in one meal with the Grilled Tuna with Chickpea and Spinach Salad or the Grilled Tuna Nicoise Salad.
9. Almonds are know for improving sleep quality because they are high in magnesium. Try Maple Roasted-Smoky Almonds as a satisfying snack before bed or as part of the meal with Almond Olive Sole or Baby French String Beans with Silvered Almonds.
10. Honey raises insulin levels and allow tryptophan to enter the brain more easily. Honey blends easily into most recipes and tastes great with meat such as the Honey BBQ Sesame Wings and Garlic Honey Brisket, or serve it with dessert as Spongata (Double Crusted Honey Nut Pie) or Honey Pecan Streusel Cake.