For many people, having something to eat before bed enhances sleep because it prevents blood sugar levels from dropping during the night. Choose the right ingredients and you can really maximise sleep – some foods are naturally conducive to sleep because they contain ingredients such as melatonin, serotonin and magnesium. Having said that, it’s important to avoid anything heavy before bed that will give your digestive system too much work to do, as this can be counter-productive.
This smoothie is designed to help boost sleep quality and help you stay asleep all night long. Firstly, Montmorency cherries, found in tart cherry extracts such as Cherry Active, provide a natural source of melatonin, which helps to regulate the sleep wake cycle. Almonds provide some easy-to-digest protein to help keep blood sugar levels stable. Bananas and almonds also both contain magnesium, important for relaxation, as well as tryptophan, which converts to serotonin in the body.
Recent research suggests that kiwis may also be beneficial for sleep, because they are a natural source of serotonin itself, which is thought to help initiate sleep onset, and maintain sleep during the night. Studies have also shown that increased levels of serotonin help to stimulate melatonin levels too. Sweet dreams!
|Ingredients (serves one)|
|Half a large, or one small banana|
|One ripe kiwi (skin discarded)|
|20 raw unsalted almonds|
|30ml Cherry Active or other tart cherry extract|
|200ml unsweetened almond milk, or tinned coconut milk thinned 50/50 with water|
Put all ingredients into a high-powered blender and whizz until smooth. If your blender can’t cope with whole nuts, you can use 1 tbsp almond butter instead.