What to eat for a great night’s sleep

Published by Clara on

Looking for ways to get a better night’s sleep? There are countless remedies that claim to help you drift off into a sweet slumber, from soothing pillow mists and lavender sprays to herbal remedies, oils and candles. 

Breakfast before bed? Bananas and nuts can promote healthy sleep.

Luckily you don’t need to spend a fortune to help your body wind down for a good night’s kip. According to The Sleep Council, certain foods are known to calm the brain and help promote sleep. For example, it’s important to have lycopene (found in red and orange-coloured foods), carbohydrates and vitamin C (nuts, meat and shellfish), and more lutein/zeaxanthin (found in green, leafy vegetables such as kale or spinach.

Researchers say that the best pre-bed snack is one that contains complex carbohydrates and protein. Protein helps to maintain a stable blood sugar level, while carbohydrates increase tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes sleep.

Put your sleep problems to bed with this delicious recipe adapted from Happiful magazine.

Roasted butternut squash and spinach gnocchi
Serves 4

You will need:

Roasted butternut squash and spinach gnocchi
  • 500g fresh gnocchi
  • One small butternut squash, cut into quarters lengthwise, seeds removed
  • Four shallots, sliced
  • Two garlic cloves, minced
  • One can of chickpeas, rinsed
  • 250g spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • Two tablespoons of butter
  • One tablespoon of olive oil
  • Dried sage
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4.
  • Place the butternut squash in a roasting tin, cut sides up, and drizzle with olive oil. Season the squash to taste with salt and pepper and dot over the butter.
  • Roast the squash in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until it has started to turn golden brown. Put aside to cool.
  • In a saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to boil and add the gnocchi. Reduce to a simmer and cook for five minutes.
  • In another pan, fry the shallots and garlic until soft. Add the chickpeas, sage and spinach. (If using frozen spinach, cover the pan with a lid to let it defrost).
  • Once the butternut squash is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and dice the flesh into bite-sized cubes. When the spinach has wilted, combine all of the ingredients (including the vegetable stock) and give it a good stir.

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