If you’re struggling with sleep and are willing to try odd ways to get better sleep at night, you might have even wondered, “do pistachios help you sleep?” If you want to know the answer to this and learn about some other melatonin-rich foods that can help you sleep like a baby, then give this article a read.
Many things can be held responsible for ruining your day, and one of the most common reasons for considering your day being ruined is not having a good night’s sleep. We all know that having to spend your night tossing and turning in bed can cause us to have a day full of anxiety and stress.
All of us deserve a good night’s sleep, and one way for that could be by looking into the foods we are having. There can be a beneficial relationship between eating and sleep, with some foods actually helping you sleep better.
Have you ever thought about using a few pistachios as an insomnia remedy? Or at least to help? The pistachio is a small, inconspicuous nut that is rarely the first thing that comes to mind while trying to get to sleep quickly. Could pistachio, however, improve your sleep? Read ahead to find out the answer to the burning question: do pistachios help you sleep? and learn about some other melatonin-rich foods that can help you sleep.
Table of Contents
Why is sleep important?
Getting enough sleep is critical for maintaining one’s health and well-being. When it comes to health, sleep is just as important as regular exercise and consuming a well-balanced diet. In fact, sleep is a necessary function that helps your body and mind to replenish, allowing you to wake up refreshed and aware of everything.
A good night’s sleep also helps the body stay healthy and avoid ailments. The brain cannot function correctly if it does not get adequate sleep. This can affect your ability to focus, think effectively, and recall memories.
Most adults require between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. Children and teenagers require significantly more sleep, especially if they are under the age of five. Work schedules, daily worries, a noisy bedroom environment, and medical issues can all interfere with getting enough sleep. A balanced diet and excellent living choices can help guarantee that you get enough sleep each night, but for some people, chronic sleep deprivation is the first indicator of a sleep problem.
While you sleep, your body creates proteins known as cytokines, which have immune-boosting properties and act as fuel for your white blood cells. Sleep deprivation reduces cytokine synthesis and makes you more susceptible to bacteria and viruses. Following are some reasons that might motivate you to try to get a better night of sleep:
- Sleep is restorative
- Sleep reduces stress
- Sleep enhances memory
- You can maintain a healthy body weight by sleeping
- Sleep could protect against diseases
- Your good mental health depends on sleep
Sleep is restorative
Sleep allows your body to restore and rebuild itself. The body is able to eliminate junk from the lymphatic system during this time, which strengthens the immune system. Numerous critical procedures take place when you sleep, including:
- Muscle regrowth
- Synthesis of proteins
- Tissue expansion
- Hormone production
Sleep reduces stress
Sleep is an effective stress reducer. It boosts focus, modulates mood, and sharpens judgment and decision-making. A lack of sleep impairs our mental clarity and our ability to cope with stressful events. This is attributable, in part, to the impact of chronically high cortisol levels.
Sleep enhances memory
It is commonly known that sleep affects how memories are processed. Sleep gives the brain a chance to process everything we have been exposed to while awake. It also causes brain changes that strengthen the neural connections in the areas of the brain that are responsible for memory formation. Teachers emphasize the value of getting a good night’s sleep before a test since these memories can be recalled later through a process called recall.
You can maintain a healthy body weight by sleeping
Your body modifies the hormones that control hunger and appetite when you are sleep deprived. These hormones include ghrelin, which makes people feel hungry, and leptin, which suppresses appetite and promotes the body to burn calories. When you are sleep deprived, ghrelin increases and leptin decreases, throwing off both of these hormones.
Additionally, when you are exhausted, you are more inclined to adopt unhealthy lifestyle decisions. Which, over time, may result in weight gain, the onset of obesity, or the development of diabetes.
Sleep could protect against diseases
Lack of sleep has been associated with chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease and has even been related to obesity. It can have a highly negative impact on one’s health. Because your immune system isn’t functioning at its best when you’re sleep-deprived, you’re more likely to get sick. According to a study, persons who get, on average, less than 7 hours of sleep are almost three times more likely to have a cold than their well-rested peers.
Your good mental health depends on sleep
Lack of sleep is implicated in both the development of new mental health issues as well as the maintenance of pre-existing ones, although it is difficult to determine how much of an impact it has and whether it varies across different mental health issues.
Mentally sick people frequently experience sleep problems. Although sleep deprivation is rarely regarded as the cause of mental health illnesses, it is frequently recognized that disturbed sleep is both a symptom and a side effect of mental health diseases.
Insomnia, or persistent trouble falling or remaining asleep, is the sleep issue most frequently linked to poor mental health. The majority of mental health illnesses, including paranoia and hallucinations, have been shown to worsen when people have insomnia.
When someone is stressed about their job, studies, health, money, or family, it’s not unusual for them to have trouble sleeping. You may be more prone to insomnia if you have had traumatic or stressful life events like divorce, losing your job, or losing a loved one to death or illness.
Examining your mental and emotional well-being more closely may be advised if you are having trouble sleeping. Your issues with mental health could be exacerbated by insomnia, and treating it could make you feel a lot better. Apart from getting treated, if you don’t think your condition is severe, then you can even consider opting for food that can help you sleep better.
How do dietary choices help you sleep better?
What you eat and drink can have an impact on how well you sleep, and how well you sleep has an impact on what you eat and drink. Developing a good eating-sleeping cycle can significantly improve your health and well-being.
There is some credible research that has looked at various diets in relation to sleep. According to one study, those who ate two kiwis around one hour before bed for four weeks fell asleep 14 minutes sooner and slept 40 minutes longer than those who did not eat any kiwis.
What could explain these sleep benefits induced by kiwi? The answer is melatonin which is present in kiwis. Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally by the body that aids in the regulation of sleep-wake cycles. It’s also found in various foods (and in supplements). Increasing melatonin levels at specific times of the day by consuming melatonin-rich meals may improve sleep. Pistachios also aid in sleep in the same way, which you’ll find out by reading further.
What is melatonin?
Melatonin is a natural hormone that is mostly generated by the pineal gland, a small gland in your brain. Your pineal gland is a component of your endocrine system. The full influence of melatonin in humans is unknown, although most research indicates that it helps to synchronize circadian rhythms in different sections of the body. Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles in physical, mental, and behavioral changes.
The most essential and well-known of these circadian rhythms is your sleep-wake cycle. These natural processes are mostly affected by light and dark. Melatonin levels in your pineal gland are highest at night and lowest throughout the day.
Melatonin can also be synthesized in a laboratory and sold as a dietary supplement. Because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate supplements, synthetic melatonin is not formally FDA-approved for any purposes or conditions. Before taking melatonin supplements, consult with your doctor or pharmacist. If you really do need melatonin, then you can opt for melatonin-rich foods that can help you sleep.
How does melatonin help you sleep better?
When it is dark outside, your pineal gland produces the most melatonin; when you are exposed to light, it produces less. This means that melatonin levels in your blood are low during the daytime, while at night, they are at their highest. Your pineal gland releases melatonin for longer if the night is longer like it is during the winter period.
Melatonin is commonly referred to as a “sleep hormone” as a result of this. While melatonin is not required for sleep, having the maximum melatonin levels in your body allows you to sleep better. Several additional things, however, influence your body’s ability to sleep and the quality of your sleep.
People who cannot sense light typically have irregularly synchronized melatonin cycles, which can cause circadian rhythm disorders. Your pineal gland receives information about the daily light-dark (day-night) cycle from the retinas in your eyes and then releases melatonin accordingly.
Added advantages of natural melatonin
Melatonin also interacts with female hormones in the body. It has been found in studies to aid in the regulation of menstrual cycles. In addition, pineal melatonin can also protect against neurodegeneration or the progressive loss of neuron function. Neurodegeneration is prevalent in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Researchers discovered that people who had their pineal gland surgically removed (pinealectomy) aged more quickly. As a result, some experts believe natural melatonin may have anti-aging qualities.
Do pistachios help you sleep?
Yes, recent research has indicated that having a small serving of pistachios before bed may actually help you sleep better. It all has to do with the combination of proteins, vitamins, and a trace amount of melatonin. There are various ingredients in pistachios that promote sleep.
Pistachios are a sleep-inducing powerhouse because they include protein, vitamin B6, and magnesium, all of which improve sleep. But don’t go into a shell-cracking frenzy. But try to limit your intake of nuts to one ounce since anything with too many calories may have the opposite effect and keep you awake!
How do pistachios help you sleep well?
These little nuts are rich in nutrients, such as protein and other minerals. According to a recent study, eating pistachios before bed may promote quicker and deeper slumber. Since ancient times, pistachios have been utilized in medicine. But why would eating pistachios make you sleep better? The solution is found in the brain. Excitatory and inhibitory neurons are the two types found in humans.
When humans are awake, there is a tremendous flow of electrical messages between these two types of neurons. This is due to the quantity of stimulation in our environment, such as lamps, passing cars, and individuals walking by us at night. As a result, we must be aware of any threats and respond appropriately.
When humans are weary or sleepy, the transmission of electrical signals between these two types of neurons slows or stops completely. This makes it challenging for us to process anything our brain gets from its surroundings (for example, lights from street lights or noise from traffic).
When we sleep, our brains work hard to analyze the events of the day and consolidate our memories. To accomplish this, the brain must maintain a steady flow of information between excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Excitatory neurons are in charge of transmitting signals that inform our bodies what to do. Inhibitory neurons are in charge of sending signals to our bodies telling them to cease performing something.
Our body functions effectively when the flow of stimulus between these two types of neurons is balanced. When the flow is out of harmony, it can cause issues such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Melatonin has a role in balancing the flow of stimuli between these two types of neurons. This is one of the reasons why it works so well for treating insomnia. It can also aid in the reduction of anxiety and despair. This is where pistachios and the role of melatonin come into play.
According to research, pistachios have a high concentration of tryptophan—a type of amino acid that the body utilizes to generate serotonin and melatonin. When eaten right before bedtime, pistachios can induce an increase in tryptophan levels in our brains.
Tryptophan has been shown to increase the creation and release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates our emotional response to stress, sleep patterns, appetite, mood, and more.
Melatonin is a hormone generated by the pineal gland that aids in the regulation of the body’s sleep-wake cycle. Thus, the high quantity of tryptophan in pistachio nuts may benefit persons who have sleep disorders or difficulty sleeping. In fact, studies have shown that those who ingest a lot of tryptophan before bedtime sleep better than those who don’t.
Pistachio nuts are a good source of magnesium. Magnesium is a vital nutrient for strong bones and muscles. Magnesium relaxes your body and promotes restful sleep. It also aids in the control of blood pressure and heart rate. Pistachios provide roughly 40% more magnesium than almonds or cashews. Pistachios have been demonstrated to increase the quality of sleep in persons who suffer from insomnia.
What other nutrients are found in pistachios that can help with sleep?
Pistachios can help you get closer to developing a good sleeping routine, especially because they have a higher concentration of the nutrients you require each day. Following are some of the nutrients and their potential benefits for providing a good night’s sleep.
- Potassium – Potassium controls the intensity of REM sleep as well as the total duration of sleep.
- Magnesium – Magnesium relaxes your body, giving you more control over falling asleep. It can also lower anxiety symptoms, allowing your mind to calm down before falling asleep.
- Tryptophan – Tryptophan prolongs your sleep and improves its quality while also delaying the onset of sleep.
- Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine, or vitamin B6, stimulates your body’s metabolic processes and aids in the production of new blood cells. However, it also aids in bettering the quality of your sleep. Tryptophan is changed into serotonin by vitamin B6, which enables the brain to enter the REM state of sleep.
The combination of these nutrients can help you get a better night of sleep. Pistachios offer an all-in-one solution to making you sleep better by being packed with the nutrients listed above. So try incorporating pistachios into your diet and see the following changes.
- It will be simpler for you to fall asleep.
- Additionally, your sleep will be of higher quality.
- After a restful night’s sleep, you’ll feel more awake in the morning.
- You won’t experience the severe hunger that keeps some people from falling asleep. Pistachios’ proteins and fiber will make you feel satiated.
When should you eat pistachios before bed?
Our melatonin levels typically begin to rise in the middle to the late evening after the sun has set and are at their lowest levels between 8 and 9 am each day. The time between 2 and 4 in the morning is usually when melatonin levels are at their highest. Our bodies are designed to sleep the deepest and most restful sleep during this time.
When melatonin synthesis is rising, which usually occurs after 6 o’clock each night, this is the time to increase it. Eating them raw or lightly roasted a few hours before bedtime is the best way to enjoy them for a good night’s sleep.
How many pistachios do you need to help you sleep?
You should consume roughly half a cup of pistachios before night to guarantee that you get the greatest benefit from having pistachios. This means that you should have 20 to 30 pistachios, or around 2 ounces, before bed.
If you want to get a really good amount of sleep, then try mixing walnuts or almonds with pistachios to supplement your diet with the appropriate amount of tryptophan! When compared to pistachios, they offer more tryptophan per ounce; hence the combination would be great for good sleep. In contrast to most of the other nuts, pistachios have a higher ratio of necessary amino acids to their protein level.
Other melatonin-rich foods that can help you sleep
If pistachios aren’t your thing, try one of these other foods that may help you sleep better. Apart from having a good amount of melatonin to provide sleep-related benefits, they all have other wonderful health benefits. However, any diet that enhances health and the immune system automatically increases sleep! Following are foods you can opt for if you want to stay away from pistachios.
- Brown rice
Eating cherries is the most straightforward technique to induce sleep. Cherries are high in naturally produced melatonin, a hormone that aids in the regulation of your day and night cycle.
As discussed earlier, melatonin is generated by the pineal gland, which is located in the center of the brain. A lack of light causes production to occur around twilight and at night. Melatonin induces sleep in awake animals and humans.
Increasing your melatonin consumption is the greatest strategy to achieve a decent night’s sleep. Cherries, almonds, and cereals are all natural sources of melatonin. They can help regulate your sleep cycle if consumed on a regular basis.
Asparagus is indicated as a natural cure for insomnia. This is due to amino acids like tryptophan. This substance aids in the secretion of melanin during the night, which is essential for good sleep. As a result, this is one of those foods that can help you sleep better.
On the other hand, we must highlight its contribution to vitamin C, folic acid, and vital minerals that help to improve the immune system. Furthermore, because of its high fiber content, it is good for improving digestive motility and preventing constipation.
Eating bananas before bedtime is an old-fashioned remedy for insomnia. This food contains melanin, which is the chemical that causes the body to sleep. It also contains tryptophan and important minerals, which help to prevent muscle cramps at night.
Ginger root is a spice that contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. It’s good for reducing the impacts of free radicals. Its natural oils, particularly gingerol, also protect cells from poisons and hazardous environmental factors. Furthermore, it enhances the production of melanin and acts as a relaxant, aiding in the treatment of insomnia.
Oatmeal is high in critical nutrients that are beneficial to the body. Believe it or not, it is regarded as the most complete grain. In fact, it contains a high concentration of tryptophan and amino acids, which aid in the stimulation of melanin formation. Some of the other benefits that oatmeals provide are
- Aids in the improvement of digestion.
- Protects the cardiovascular system.
- Reduces anxiousness.
- Improves the central nervous system’s functions.
- It also aids in the maintenance of a healthy weight.
Enzymes and vital minerals in pineapples help maintain healthy circadian rhythms and promote restful sleep that replenishes the body. Additionally, this fruit encourages a balance between melanin and serotonin levels. These are chemicals that aid in body relaxation to promote restful sleep.
Brown rice is a source of natural fiber and carbs that contribute to a higher rate of calorie burning during weight loss. This food is excellent for protecting muscles because it is a significant source of vitamin B complex. It also aids in protecting the brain and the cardiovascular system. Its consumption improves sleep quality and adds a small amount of melanin to the diet, especially during lunch and dinner.
They include vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. As a result, their absorption aids in the control of circadian rhythms. Regular onion consumption helps the body remove toxins. It also reduces bloating and fluid retention.
Prunes have a mixed reputation. Most people know that prunes aid in constipation, but did you know that they can also aid in sleep? They are high in vitamin B6, magnesium, and calcium, which aid in the production of melatonin. You can consume a couple of prunes thirty minutes before going to bed. Because of their fiber content, they will also keep you feeling fuller for longer. Other benefits of prunes include:
- Improvement of anemia (high in iron)
- Help lower blood pressure
- Build muscle
- Develop stronger bones
Eggs are one of the most flexible ingredients, which is why we love any breakfast-for-dinner meal that features eggs. You can also get your pre-sleep melatonin from anything rich in eggs and dairy, such as an egg sandwich.
Finally, a reason to prepare that turmeric-rich Golden Milk drink you’ve been hearing so much about! You can also keep it easy by pouring yourself a glass of warm milk (no, this is not an old wives’ story). It should be noted that cow’s milk contains the highest levels of melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone that alerts your body to the fact that it is time to sleep. The body produces melatonin naturally, but it can also be obtained from supplements and meals. Most of us would have never considered pistachios as a possible alternative for insomnia cure! However, after some investigation, it appears that that viewpoint has some substance. If you’re wondering, “Do pistachios help you sleep?” We can state unequivocally that the answer is yes!
A handful of pistachios per night will provide your body with melatonin, potassium, and magnesium. Each of these has unique qualities that aid in relaxation, allowing you to go to sleep more easily and remain asleep longer. Although further research is needed to determine the exact amount of melatonin found in pistachios, several other foods, such as pineapple, eggs, and cherries, can help enhance your intake naturally.