Which foods will help me get a better night's sleep?

In today’s busy and full-on world, there is an increasing number of people who struggle to get a good night’s sleep. According to a report from the Mental Health Foundation, up to a third of adults in the UK suffer from insomnia, either in the short term or for longer. It is no surprise, therefore, that results from a recent survey show that 95% of those with insomnia have difficulty in staying awake during daylight hours, ultimately impacting on their work and personal life.

One of the key factors in aiding a good night’s sleep is obviously the kind of bedding that you use but another is what you eat, particularly in the hours before you tuck yourself into bed. So, we’ve put together a few tips below on foods that can help promote a more restful sleep and we’ll also tell you a bit about our range of natural duvets and why they can also help.

Firstly, it is best to stick to regular mealtimes, spaced throughout the day, but trying to opt for a lighter meal or snack in the evening. Heading off to bed within two hours of eating a large meal will stop you from getting a good night’s sleep and is likely to be cause a certain amount of discomfort throughout the night, especially if you suffer from reflux or heartburn. Processed meats, high fat foods (such as burgers, pizzas), fried foods and spicy curries take even longer to digest and could also keep you awake if eaten too close to bedtime. Sodium-rich foods will make you thirsty during the night, another major factor in sleep disruption.

One of the biggest - and best known - culprits is caffeine, so drinking coffee or your preferred cuppa made from black tea will perk you up, rather than setting the scene for a good slumber. Alcohol is used by many to relax at night but it actually prevents your body from entering deep stages of sleep so you won’t feel properly rested when you wake up in the morning,

Our bodies produce various hormones that help us fall asleep, Melatonin being the most important as it regulates your daily sleep-wake cycles. Eating melatonin-rich foods can assist in boosting this process and if eaten regularly can help regulate your sleep cycles. These include cherries, kiwi fruits, nuts and seeds, oats, rice, fish and eggs. 

Magnesium, calcium and zinc are important minerals for a good night’s sleep. These can be found in dark leafy greens, avocado, bananas and tahini (the latter is used in the popular Middle Eastern dish, hummus). Niacin (one of the B Vitamins) is thought to improve the REM cycle of sleep and reduce waking in the night. This can be found in beetroot, poultry and peanuts.

If you need a warm drink before bedtime, then try a herbal tea. Those that include chamomile or valerian are popular and promote relaxation, and other options include passion flower and lemon balm.

The best pre-bedtime snacks include a combination of carbohydrate and protein as these will help your body to produce melatonin and another hormone, serotonin, which can also help you get a better night’s sleep. The key word is snack; too much and you’ll be filling yourself up. As in all things…everything in moderation!

Fluctuation in body temperatures (i.e. if you’re cold one minute and hot and bothered the next), will disrupt your sleep, making you tired and tetchy in the morning. This will be exacerbated if you are suffering from the dreaded ‘night sweats’ or an allergy, such as those caused by dust mites. Here’s where we come in! At Devon Duvets, we’ve spent years perfecting our range of natural wool duvets and our brand new range of Botanic duvets to optimise your sleep experience.

Our wool duvets are made from Certified 100% British Wool, from responsible sources, and are naturally breathable so will self-regulate according to your body temperature. They are also resistant to bacteria and dust mites and there’s a choice of weights. We’re especially proud that our lightweight version, perfect for warmer months, has been named Best Summer Duvet by The Independent.

Our Botanic range contains TENCEL™ Lyocell, a natural fibre made from 100% sustainable plant sources, manufactured through an ECO award-winning process. The only duvet of its kind that is registered by The Vegan Society, it is also able to self-regulate to your body temperature and is so beautifully soft that you’ll feel wrapped in luxury from head to toe.

All of our duvets are 100% sustainable, 100% biodegradable and individually hand-crafted in Devon by our expert seamstresses.  We also produce a range of wool pillows and source a gorgeously soft, pure white, 450 thread count 100% Pima cotton bedlinen.

NOTE:  Please always seek the advice of your doctor or other medical professional if you are suffering from sleeplessness or need any specific dietary advice.