3 Recipes to Help You Sleep Better

Are you a coffee hound like me?  As a parent, sleep is not always a priority.  Not necessarily by design, our sleep can be interrupted, or completed shelved depending on the current state of our family.  However, there are some very real dangers of sleep deprivation that can result from a lack of sleep. 

As someone who gets about 5 hours of sleep per night on purpose, I used to take for granted my ability to function well on little sleep.  After my daughter was born, I realized that I need to get those 5 hours at specific times or else I might not have even slept as all.  We become a mess and may not see how we can take some ownership and control over these new patterns.  

Once that realization hit, I started really focusing on going to sleep when I know I need to, not necessarily when I want to.  The midnight bedtimes are no longer possible when I know my daughter will most likely be awake in the middle of the night, cutting my sleep time by a couple of hours.  Figuring out how to support sleep when I'm ready to sleep is absolutely vital.  Doing so with food is my optimal choice.  So here are 5 recipes that can support sleep for anyone (sans clergy).

Food combinations that contain Tryptophan, Zinc, Magnesium, and Melatonin, when consumed before bedtime, can help you fall asleep and stay asleep (as long as your little ones aren't screaming.  

1. Banana Milk Shake

The warm glass of milk  is a cultural norm.  However, research shows that milk contains Tryptophan which is required for serotonin production.  The protein in milk all inhibit the absorption.  To account of that, add high carb low protein foods that will support absorption.  The banana also container potassium and magnesium that serve as muscle relaxers, helping your body relax for sleep.

  • 1 Medium Banana
  • 1 Cup Whole Fat Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 4 Ice Cubes

Blend and enjoy.

2. Dark Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Magnesium is going to help your muscles relax which will in turn help your body prepare for sleep.  Consuming foods high in magnesium will support you.  This recipes serves 2 and includes 3 ingredients that are good clean sources of magnesium.

  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • 1 Medium Banana
  • 1 TBS Pur Coco Powder 
  • 1/2 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1-3 tsp Honey (optional)

Combine in a food processor until smooth.  Enjoy.

3. Tart Cherry Chia Pudding

Melatonin is a hormone that helps control your sleep cycles.  You can purchase this as a supplement, try CALM, or enjoy cherries in any form.  Cherries have one of the most concentrated levels of Melatonin found in foods.

  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Pie Cherries (in the freezer section)
  • 2 TBS Chia Seeds
  • 1 Cup Coconut Water

Blend coconut water and cherries.  Pour into bowl and add chia seeds.  Whisk and refrigerate 30-60 minutes, or up to 5 days.