When speaking of seasons, we can all agree that fall is definitely the one that impacts our sleep patterns most due to the changes in weather and daylight savings time. But, it is also the ideal season for boosting your energy levels and resetting sleep patterns. How to achieve that? – It is as simple as consuming some fall foods that will help you fight seasonal insomnia and improve both sleep quantity and quality.
Seasonal Insomnia Causes
As the seasons change, many people experience trouble falling and staying asleep. This sleep disruption is also referred to as ‘seasonal insomnia’ and is usually caused by:
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is best described as depression, mostly caused by sunlight changes, that hits hardest in late fall and around daylight savings time. Frequent symptoms include fatigue and daytime sleepiness, loss of energy, social withdrawal, lack of motivation, and feeling worthless and hopeless.
Sleep Schedule Changes
With children going back to school and the holiday season ahead, which is actually from September to December, fall is also one of the seasons in which parents have lots of obligations. As a result of the race against time, they usually end up sleep-deprived and suffering from sleep disturbances like insomnia.
The last cause of seasonal insomnia comes down to food, especially fatty food, spicy food, chocolate, and caffeine (which is usually over-consumed in the hope to fight sleepiness). And, as you know, from Halloween to Thanksgiving we are far more likely to consume such foods. Plus, since we eat more we also gain weight which again interferes with sleep because there’s a strong connection between sleep deprivation and obesity.
On the other hand, luckily, certain fall foods can actually improve sleep quality and help you improve energy levels. Here’s a list of the top five fall foods for your sleep:
Fall Foods for Your Sleep
Number one on the list of top five fall foods for improving sleep quality are obviously apples. Being packed with vitamin C, fiber, and potassium, makes apples great for having a good night’s sleep during fall. Vitamin C and fiber help in blood sugar levels regulation, while potassium relaxes muscles and thus helps you sleep better.
Broccoli and Kale
They aren’t only nutritious but are also rich in calcium which is extremely beneficial for fighting insomnia thanks to tryptophan stimulation. This amino-acid is of crucial importance in regulating optimal sleep melatonin levels.
This nutrient powerhouse is an excellent ally in combating insomnia. Pumpkins are full of vitamin A, vitamin B6, biotin, and potassium which are all helpful for improving sleep. But that’s not all! They are also rich in alpha-carotene which reduces difficulty falling asleep.
These earthy vegetables are widely praised for being one of the greatest sources of potassium and selenium. Only one cup of mushrooms provides one-third of the daily recommended intake. Plus, they abound in vitamins B2, B3, and vitamin D, which is extremely important since our exposure to natural sunlight is limited during fall and regulates our sleep-wake cycles.
Finally, these naturally sweet fruits help our muscles relax due to the fact that figs are packed with magnesium and high in fiber. Also, they are great for regulating blood sugar levels and reduce night awakenings from a crash.
Now that you know which fall foods can help you fight insomnia and improve sleep, it’s time you stock your pantry with them and enjoy the long fall and winter nights!