The Best Way to Improve Sleep is NOT Melatonin, it’s These 10 Foods

the best diet for improving Your Sleep Quality is not keto it's not intermittent fasting the best diet for improving Your Sleep Quality is not paleo or it's not high carb it's the proper implementation of different foods that have evidence behind them so you don't have to be doing any particular diet I'm going to talk about 10 foods that massively improve sleep based upon evidence-based research so you can pick and choose you don't have to do all of these you take little bits whatever you want to do let's just go ahead and jump right into it the first one is one that I talk about all the time on this channel so you can skip through this one if you've heard it before tart cherry juice literally a quarter cup to half a cup of this stuff has massive impacts on sleep the American Journal of Therapeutics published a paper looking at tart cherry juice versus placebo okay and they found that tart cherry juice improved to Total Sleep Time by 84 minutes that is insane that is why it makes number one on this list just jumping right to the point and it's still relatively low carb considering how much you actually to consume the reason is tart cherry juice does naturally contain a lot of melatonin but it also contains a bunch of tryptophan it also might have something to do with the oxidative kind of stress reducing capacity of it so it's got a very high orac score which we'll save for another day having that warm little sippy cup of milk okay this is kind of crazy because I'm not a big fan of just going out in willy-nilly drinking milk what I am a fan of personally is raw milk I'm not suggesting you go do that because not everyone can even get it okay but raw milk at least is not pasteurized so you're retaining the immune benefits you're retaining some of the other cultures and the microbial effect but check out this research BMC geriatrics published a paper looking at 421 people okay and they found that when subjects had milk or in this case even cheese in tandem with some physical activity they slept significantly better than those that just exercised or those that of course had no intervention now what's the point here what's going on it's probably something to do with three things protein content tryptophan tryptophan converts to serotonin which converts to melatonin but also possibly the case in proteins okay the case in proteins can potentially help you sleep that's why if you look at old school bodybuilding magazines and stuff they'll say have cottage cheese before bed it's small scale but it could contribute downside is you drink that milk you're gonna have to pee in the middle of the night so maybe just have a little bit of cheese or a little bit of raw milk a couple hours before bed the next one is fiber now what kind of fiber now we can get pretty granular with the kinds of fiber and the cool thing is is that you don't have to have fiber before bed you can have fiber sprinkled throughout the day what I would recommend you do with fiber is not necessarily just get it from vegetables vegetables aren't really the best best sources of fiber the best sources of fiber come from things like psyllium husk they come from things like flax they come from things like chia seeds these soluble fibers right glucoman and fiber shirataki noodles where you don't have to have massive amounts of veggies because maybe you're concerned with doing that because of gas or whatever and you don't want to have fiber right before bed but the evidence is very interesting there's a study published in the journal sleep that found that lower carb diets had better REM sleep okay not suggesting you go low carb but what we're getting at here is further research suggests that the quality of the carbohydrate influences your slow wave sleep your restorative deep sleep and the quality of a carbohydrate can massively be influenced by fiber so fiber changes how the carbohydrates react in our body and the studies are demonstrating better slow wave restorative sleep now most of the additional research is starting to point to the microbiome being the potential benefit here okay if the microbiome changes it is sort of the conductor of an orchestra that is beyond what we can really fathom and understand right now so being able to send signals from the gut to the brain that gut brain access to help us stay calm that whole serotonin pathway there that vagus nerve all that interaction can help us relax and help us fall asleep faster and potentially stay asleep so if you start adding more fiber into your diet do it slowly you don't need to just suddenly add 30 40 grams of fiber just just a little bit can make a big difference to change the gut and if you're not wanting to add copious amounts of fiber at once I pop the link down below for seed which is my recommended probiotic because I know people are going to ask it's a Prebiotic and a probiotic tied into one capsule so it's a capsule inside of a capsule very cool technology the link down below will save you 15 percent I'm not a big probiotic guy outside of ones that actually work and there's a small handful of ones that work and this one Takes the Cake especially when it comes down to the price considering what you're getting so that link gets you 15 off of seed again you hit that link down below and you use that code Thomas 15 and that saves you 15 off their daily symbiotics so check them out the next one is turkey now what's interesting about turkey is it's not just the old turkey has tryptophan thing that we hear about from Thanksgiving yes that is the case like as a ratio turkey has a very high amount of tryptophan to other aminos compared to other meats but turkey is just very high in protein in general so that might be why we start to see so much evidence towards turkey being good for Sleep the Western Journal of Nursing Research published a paper that a higher protein diet led to higher Sleep Quality compared to higher fat diets higher carbohydrate diets and low protein diets so protein influences restorative sleep so I don't really care how you get it if we really want to get crazy granular it just seems like bang for the buck turkey might be the best I don't expect you to say hey kids I'm sorry I can't have that dinner tonight because I have to have my turkey but occasionally by adding it in or just increasing your protein throughout the course of the day like I use the Chomps turkey sticks I think that's a great way I get turkey in throughout the day I eat those throughout the day and that's not even a paid plug or anything that's a great way for 60 calories to get like 10 or 11 grams of turkey protein straight into my diet now this next one's wild you've probably heard of chamomile tea before okay but what's interesting about chamomile tea is it is exceptionally effective okay there was a study published in phytotherapy research but it essentially emulates a very popular and somewhat abused drug it's kind of wild This phytotherapy research study he was actually a meta-analysis taking a look at 12 different studies so it looked at a bunch of different data it found that chamomile not only improved Sleep Quality significantly but there was also a marketing Improvement in general anxiety disorder and when you understand the mechanism it makes sense chamomile contain something called apogenic apogenin binds to a benzodiazepine receptor you've probably heard of a benzo before if you haven't we're talking things like Xanax and stuff like that which are used for anxiety so it would make sense that chamomile would improve anxiety because it's acting upon a very similar pathway in fact when you look at Pharmaceuticals in general 40 to 60 percent at least as of like 10 years ago were derived from Plants anyway so it makes sense that we're getting a pharmaceutical like effect from chamomile when it really is a sign of implied that some of these benzos might have come from that in the first place here's the thing with chamomile tea make it so that it's concentrated without a lot of water do like a four ounce serving of it that way you're getting a concentrated effect but the downside with having tea before bed is well think about it you're having a bunch of fluid coming in and then four hours later you're getting up in the middle of the night to pee and you can't fall back asleep concentrated dosage of it you still get that calming effect without maybe having to run to the bathroom later okay the next one fatty fish three times per week doesn't matter what time of day you have it you could have lots of your breakfast in the morning you'd have salmon for lunch you could have salmon for dinner the paper that I'm referencing here was interesting because it took a look at fatty fish consumption just three times per week over the course of six months I like this because it was overall larger scale data it found that compared to other meats so any other meat like chicken any other poultry beef eggs salmon or fatty fish led to the biggest Improvement in sleep they also found that it reduced wait time overall and improved regular daily function throughout the course of the day I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that it probably has to do more so with like the Omega a three content the docus hexanoic acid DHA but who knows like it could be a number of different things it could also just be hey maybe you're getting protein except when it's compared to equal macronutrients with other meats it still seems to perform better so it's got to be the fatty acid profile so I recommend just implementing it throughout the week as best as you can maybe sardines would work too mackerel anything like that now we're getting into the weird stuff the stuff that is weird enough to probably raise some eyebrows but powerful enough to be worth trying okay so the first one is a fruit kiwi now I like kiwi to begin with because kiwi is hiring glucose instead of fructose which means it's a carbohydrate that your body can just utilize and Burn by all cells within the body compared to fructose which has to be utilized or stored by the liver so a little bit more slack there now the asia-pacific journal of clinical nutrition published a paper that found that subjects that had two kiwis one or two hours before bed had major improvements in sleep it decreased their sleep episodes like how much they woke up and things like that by five percent and in improved their Total Sleep Time up to 13 percent so 13 Improvement in your sleep is something that has very very little calories a few carbs really isn't a big deal even if you're doing keto if you allocate your carbohydrates properly it's not a big deal now what is the deal here why is it working when we get into mechanisms it could be a number of different things but so far the most valid hypothesis is the rich antioxidant capacity what that means is it's reducing oxidative stress so much in the brain that the brain is able to function better and when the brain is functioning better that is actually good for your sleep because it can get into the proper sleep patterns and sleep waves so this could be a very very very big reason and Kiwis seem to take the cake outside of of course tart cherry for sleep but there's one more that's kind of interesting and that's watermelon which is the next one I don't suggest you go eat a half a watermelon before bed okay watermelon is very high glycemic and that will disrupt your sleep there's evidence that suggests that having high glycemic carbs will help you fall asleep but not help you stay asleep but there's a caveat to that research there was a study published in the American journal of clinical nutrition that found that having a high glycemic carbohydrate four hours before bed improved sleep onset and Total Sleep versus having it one hour before bed did improve sleep onset a little bit but Sleep Quality went down so if you are going to have something like watermelon that's high glycemic you want to have it like four or three hours before bed or so but why watermelon well watermelon is high glycemic but the glycemic load the total amount of carbohydrates in it is quite low so even though it's a nice Spike it's not so much that it's going to cause damage and the hydration effect of watermelon is very powerful if you were to just drink like I don't know 10 ounces of water compared to drinking 10 ounces of water or consuming 10 ounces of water via eating watermelon you'd probably hydrate better from the watermelon simply because of the carbohydrates that's going to draw water in but also the citrulline okay which is going to increase blood flow so you're getting more blood flow and more proper hydration to different areas of the body so watermelon is very unique in that it's hard to overdo it you'd have to really eat a lot of it then we move into pistachios now pistachios and Brazil nuts now interesting thing about pistachios they are one of the highest melatonin foods that you could eat okay there's some literature that suggests there's upwards of 20 milligrams of melatonin in like 100 grams of pistachios I find that a little hard to believe but it probably has to do with individual crops because there's varying numbers bottom line is it's probably the most melatonin Rich nut if not food that you can find out there it's also high in magnesium which is going to help you sleep but I would be inclined to say that you're probably going to get a better effect by having maybe an ounce of Brazil nuts what I would say is do like an ounce of Brazil nuts with maybe an whey protein isolate shake or something an hour before bed the Brazil nuts contain significant amounts of magnesium which bind to what's called a Gaba receptor and when it binds in the Gaba receptor in the brain that helps calm you down it's the opposite of glutamate if you consume something that has like MSG in it you know how you feel kind of amped up that's because it's activating the glutamate side of your brain so to speak whereas Brazil nuts are activating the more relaxing side so having some protein which we know is good along with maybe a small handful of Brazil nuts which is like four Brazil nuts that might very well help you sleep and the last one which is one we're seeing emerging evidence in that's very very cool and it really leans into the whole Mediterranean approach that I'm a big fan of is hummus now hummus because of the chickpeas contains a high amount of vitamin B6 vitamin B6 is important for two reasons it's critical to the biosynthesis of melatonin I'm not a fan of adding melatonin in I'm a fan of supporting what your body can do naturally so if B6 supports melatonin synthesis that means it's going to help us create melatonin more effectively now the other thing that's interesting about hummus is because of the B6 that helps form what's called hemoglobin okay now hemoglobin is what carries the ultimate oxygen essentially to the areas of the body that need it without hemoglobin you're not a able to have proper red blood cell function and proper oxygenation which definitely impacts sleep okay if you have low hemoglobin or low red blood cell count that will impact oxygen delivery to your brain which impacts the cycles that your brain can go through and the proper sleep waves so a little bit of hummus with dinner and it goes with almost anything okay not to mention if you find the right hummus you're getting the added benefit of having the olive oil on it too the monounsaturated fats which might help with sleep and insulin sensitivity as well so just to recap here all the things that we talked about and I hope you took some notes you don't have to have just at dinner you can have sprinkled throughout the course of the day and you can try them one at a time because I would argue that different people are going to have different benefits from each one I'll see you tomorrow

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