Do Bananas Help You Sleep?

Do bananas help you sleep? You may ask. Well, bananas are a natural sleep aid and have been shown to improve sleep quality in people of all ages. They contain tryptophan, an amino acid 

that is converted into serotonin, which helps promote a sound sleep cycle. Additionally, bananas are a good source of potassium and magnesium, both of which are essential for a restful night’s sleep.

Keep reading to find out more about why and how bananas can help you sleep better.

Why Is Sleep Important?

Improved cognitive function. Sleep is necessary for the proper functioning of the brain and may help improve memory, focus, and concentration.

Reduced stress levels: A lack of sleep can lead to increased stress hormones, which can negatively impact mental and physical health.

Stronger immune system: Lack of sleep has been linked with an increased risk of infections, so getting enough sleep may help strengthen the immune system and lower the risk of some health conditions.

Better moods: A good night’s sleep is associated with improved moods and decreased stress levels, which could lead to greater productivity and satisfaction at work or school.

More energy: One study found that people who got less than six hours of sleep per night were almost 50% more likely to report feeling tired than those who got seven or more hours of sleep each night.

Fewer cravings for junk food: Studies have shown that people who get enough sleep tend to have lower rates of cravings for unhealthy foods, possibly because sleep helps regulate the hormones controlling appetite and satiety.

Decreased risk of heart disease: A study published in The American Journal of Physiology found that people who get enough sleep have a reduced risk of heart disease.

Better skin health: insufficient sleep is known to cause problems with skin health, such as dryness and wrinkles, which can be reversed with adequate sleep.

See, Why Am I Not Sleeping Well, and Types Of Sleep Disorders

banana bunch on wooden background

How Do Bananas Help You Sleep?

1. They are a good source of magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral essential for healthy bones and muscles and a necessary component of nerve and muscle cells. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels, supports cardiovascular health, and promotes a restful night’s sleep.

With a medium-sized banana providing about 34 milligrams, or 8 percent of the daily magnesium requirements, a banana can be a great addition to boosting your magnesium intake.

According to a study done on older adults with insomnia, supplementing with 500 mg of magnesium daily for 8 weeks reduced the stress hormone cortisol and increased melatonin. Melatonin is a sleep hormone that tells the body to prepare for sleep. It also regulates the sleep-wake cycle helping you maintain a regular sleep pattern.

One study found that people with lower magnesium levels reported more problems sleeping than those with higher magnesium levels. In the study, low magnesium was associated with a very short sleep duration of fewer than 5 hours.

Magnesium can also help relax the muscles in the body, which can lead to a better night’s sleep. Additionally, magnesium can help to calm the mind and reduce anxiety symptoms.

2. They are rich in vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that helps regulate nerve function, energy production, and blood sugar levels. It also assists in the production of serotonin – a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood and sleep patterns. Vitamin B6 has also been shown to boost the production of tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for regulating sleep.

According to studies taking a multivitamin with vitamin B6 before bed can improve sleep quality.” A study published in the journal Nutrients found that people who took a multivitamin with vitamin B6 before bed reported better sleep quality than those who didn’t.

The study participants were given either a placebo or a multivitamin with 400 mg of vitamin B6 before bed for four weeks. The results showed that those who took the multivitamin had improved sleep quality, including more restful sleep and fewer awakenings during the night.

3. They are high in potassium

Potassium is a mineral that is essential for the normal functioning of the body. It helps regulate blood pressure, nerve function, and muscle contractions.

Potassium can also promote better sleep by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system controls the body’s relaxation response and is important for restoring and maintaining balance in the body.

When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, it decreases heart rate and blood pressure, which can help to improve sleep. Additionally, potassium can help reduce anxiety and stress levels, which can also promote sleep. Top 10 Potassium-Rich Plant Foods.

4. Bananas are a good source of tryptophan

There is mounting evidence that tryptophan — an essential amino acid found in many food sources, including bananas — can improve sleep quality. In a study published in the journal Diabetes Care, researchers found that people who supplemented their diets with tryptophan experienced a decrease in daytime sleepiness and improved overall sleep quality.

Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter involved in mood and relaxation. In addition, tryptophan has been shown to play an important role in the production of melatonin, which is a hormone that regulates circadian rhythms and sleep patterns. See How To Increase Dopamine And Serotonin Naturally?

How To Eat A Banana To Improve Sleep

There are many different ways to eat bananas throughout the day to promote better sleep.

  • Add a banana to your breakfast routine for added energy and nutrients that will help you stay alert. The potassium and vitamin C in bananas are essential for balancing your moods and energy throughout the day, which can help you sleep better at night.
  • Keep a few ripe bananas in the fridge for when you need a quick snack or natural sweetener. Bananas are also great for adding sweetness to your diet without having to use processed sugars.
  • Add bananas to your diet during the day, as a snack, or in place of unhealthy snacks like candy bars or cake. They provide fiber, which can help keep you feeling full longer and help reduce cravings later on in the day.
  • Eat bananas before bed to help regulate your body’s natural sleeping patterns. Eating one before bed will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night.

How Many Bananas Should You Eat?

Bananas are a great way to promote better sleep but should be consumed in moderation. 

Eating too many bananas right before bed can lead to trouble sleeping because they contain a high amount of sugar.

A medium-sized banana, taken as your last meal of the day enough to offer the benefits.

Additional Benefits Of Eating Bananas

Besides helping you sleep better, eating a banana can offer additional benefits, including:

They are high in fiber

There are many health benefits to incorporating fiber into your diet.

Fiber can promote regularity, prevent constipation, and help keep you fuller longer, reducing your caloric intake and helping control weight. It also regulates blood sugar levels, keeping you physically and mentally healthy.

In addition, fiber can reduce the risk of heart disease, certain types of cancer, and other chronic diseases by helping keep your digestive system working properly.

What’s more,  getting enough fiber each day helps keep you energized throughout the day, which can prevent snack cravings or overeating.

Bananas are also a great source of prebiotics, a type of fiber that feeds good gut bacteria. Best Viscous Fiber Foods And Their Benefits

Strengthens bones

Bananas are a great way to improve bone health and strength. They are high in potassium, which helps to keep bones strong and healthy.

Bananas also contain other nutrients that help to support bone health, such as vitamin C and magnesium. Eating a banana on a regular basis can help prevent osteoporosis and easy fractures.

They are also a good source of vitamin C, which helps create collagen, a protein that strengthens bones. 

Regulates blood pressure

Bananas are rich in potassium, which helps regulate sodium levels in the body, thus lowering blood pressure. Potassium also helps relax blood vessels, causing blood pressure to fall.

A 2010 study in the “Journal of Hypertension” found that people with lower levels of potassium had higher blood pressure readings than those with higher levels.

In addition, a 2009 study in the British Journal of Health Psychology found that increasing potassium intake from food or supplements lowered blood pressure by up to 5 points in people with high blood pressure.

Elevates mood

Bananas are a great way to elevate mood and improve cognitive function. They contain high levels of potassium, magnesium, and fiber, which can help to improve nerve function and blood flow. Bananas also contain tryptophan which is a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood.

Additional Foods To Improve Sleep

Blueberries

Blueberries are rich in powerful antioxidants that can help promote better sleep. The anthocyanins in blueberries have been shown to help stabilize blood sugar and improve cognitive performance. In addition, the high levels of vitamin C found in blueberries can promote a good night’s sleep by keeping your body calm and reducing stress.

Ginger

Known as an immune system booster and one of the oldest treatments for sleep disorders, ginger is a great food to include in your diet if you want to improve your sleep quality. Aside from its therapeutic properties, ginger has been proven to help relax the mind and reduce stress levels – two key ingredients in a good night’s rest.

Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is known to promote better sleep because of its calming effects.

This tea has been shown to help relieve anxiety, tension, and irritability in adults. Its pleasant aroma can help you relax and fall asleep faster.

It is also a natural sedative, which can help you get to sleep and stay asleep longer, especially if you have trouble staying asleep. 

For better results, drink chamomile tea right before bed.

Kiwi

A recent study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests that people who eat a moderate amount of Kiwi fruit daily may sleep better.

The study looked at data from 3,500 adults over a nine-year period and found that those who ate two or more servings of Kiwi per week were about 25% less likely to suffer from sleep problems than those who didn’t eat Kiwis.

The researchers speculate that the high levels of antioxidants and vitamin C found in Kiwi fruit make them effective at promoting sleep.

Kiwis are also high in magnesium and potassium, both of which can promote better sleep

Foods to avoid 

While bananas are an excellent bedtime snack, here are nine foods to steer clear of if you want a restful night:

Alcohol: Drinking alcohol before bed is known to disrupt sleep patterns. Not only will it make it harder for you to fall asleep, but alcohol also increases the risk of insomnia.

Caffeine: Caffeine is another common ingredient that can mess with your sleep cycle. This stimulant can keep you awake and make it difficult to fall asleep. Try going caffeine-free in the evening, especially before bedtime, or avoid it altogether.

Fried Foods: Fried foods contain unhealthy fats and other additives that can mess with your sleep cycle. While you should avoid these foods before bed, eliminating them completely from your diet will provide more benefits overall, in addition to boosting better sleep.

Sugar-Sweetened Beverages: Sugary drinks like soft drinks and fruit juices can disrupt your sleep schedule and increase your risk of developing common lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Processed foodsProcessed foods are generally high in sugar and unhealthy fats. These ingredients can lead to poor sleep quality and fatigue the following day. Try to include more whole-grain products, fruits, and vegetables in your diet for a healthier bedtime snack or dinner option

Artificial sweeteners: Artificial sweeteners like aspartame can cause difficulty falling asleep because they stimulate the brain chemicals that make you feel active and awake.

Final Thoughts

Bananas are a classic food that is often recommended for people looking to improve their sleep. Many studies have shown that consuming bananas before bed can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. 

Bananas contain tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin, the hormone responsible for causing relaxation and drowsiness, and melatonin, a hormone that regulates your wake and sleeps cycle.

Bananas also contain a good amount of potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B6, all of which can promote a good night’s sleep.

In addition, bananas are rich in other nutrients and may improve other aspects of your health, including digestion, heart health, and the immune system.

However, make sure to eat bananas in moderation – too many of them can actually inhibit your ability to fall asleep due to their high sugar content.

Other Related Articles

1.7 Foods To Avoid With Anxiety

2. Foods To Avoid With Arthritis

3. Foods That Cleanse The Liver

Peeled banana on white background

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