Welcome back to our Fuel for Finals series! In our last article, we told you about 10 super foods that will keep you energized during those late-night study sessions. But what about when it’s time to finally go to sleep? Most of us have trouble turning our brains off. We’ve been wired with caffeine and studying all day, and the last thing our mind wants to do is relax.
Sleep is an essential part of keeping your brain in tip-top shape for finals week. Sleep deprivation impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and even problem solving—All crucial skills you need to pass those finals! However, catching those elusive Zzz’s can be harder than it seems.
So when you’ve turned off the lights but can’t seem to turn off your brain, look to these 5 snacks to lull your mind right to sleep…
Treat yourself to a fancy fish fillet—you deserve it! Fry up some salmon for dinner over brown rice and veggies. Salmon is filled with vitamin B6 which is needed to make melatonin (a sleep inducing hormone).
- Yogurt Topped w/ Granola
Dairy products can fix a calcium deficiency you didn’t know you even had. This type of deficiency is known to significantly hinder your ability to fall asleep. Add some crunch and flavor to your yogurt with some granola!
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
Yes, your childhood favorite (made w/ whole-grain bread) is more than just a fun snack your mom made you! The magnesium in whole grain breads has been proven to help you stay asleep longer. Deep sleep prepares your brain to problem solve the next day.
- Banana Pops
Warning: These are addicting day or night! Start by coating a sliced banana with yogurt, then sprinkle your favorite (sugar-free) cereal on top and freeze. Bananas are filled with the vitamin B6, and the carbs in cereal help sleep-inducing amino acids reach the brain quicker. Don’t forget the benefit of the yogurt too—This one’s a triple threat!
- Fruit & Nut Trail-mix
The essential ingredients to add to your mix are almonds and walnuts. Walnuts contain their own source of melatonin, while almonds contain magnesium which will provide you quality sleep. Both form a powerful team that will help you fall asleep AND stay asleep. Remember: Use fruits instead of chocolate to add sweetness to your mix!
These snacks may help out your restless brain, but there is no cure-all. You have to develop a lifestyle which supports a good night’s rest. Eating the right foods is just the tip of the ice berg. Creating a routine before bed, putting your cellphone away, and breathing deeply are some great ways to fall asleep in no time.
So you’ve studied with our super foods and fallen asleep with our sleepy snacks. Now it’s time for what we’ve all been preparing for—FINALS. Stay tuned for our top breakfast picks to help you ace those finals!