What better way to soak up the sunshine of summer than with a picnic? It’s a great British way to spend time with your children, friends or loved ones al fresco style throughout the summer.
However what you eat and drink in the afternoon will affect your sleep. Certain fatty or fried foods consumed later in the day can sabotage your sleep, so if you’re planning an afternoon summer picnic we’ve come up with a lists of recommended foods that will prep you for a good night’s sleep:
A selection of whole grain sandwiches, pittas or wraps makes for a great picnic. Sandwiches filled with Turkey will give you the winning combination of carbohydrates and tryptophan needed to control your sleep. Fishy fillings such as tuna and salmon are also a good choice as they are high in vitamin B6, which your body needs to make the sleep-triggering melatonin and serotonin.
Cheese and crackers:
Cheese and whole grain crackers are great alternative to sandwiches. The whole grains help produce serotonin, and cheese like most dairy products, contain tryptophan. Try a French Brie or Camembert, which will ooze deliciously in the heat, rather than a hard cheese such as Cheddar, which will go oily when left in the sun.
Nuts are a great healthy snack to include within your picnic because they contain many of the minerals needed for quality sleep. Try almonds rich in magnesium or walnuts which are a good source of tryptophan, a sleep-enhancing amino acid that helps make serotonin and melatonin.
Carrots and Hummus:
Chickpeas are also a good source of tryptophan, so opting for a side dip of hummus with carrots could be a good way to head into an afternoon nap. Carrots also contain several sleep promoting nutrients like potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin A.
A side salad with your afternoon picnic is a good option if you have difficulty dropping off at night. Lettuce contains lactucarium which has sedative-like properties that can affect the brain the same way opium does, promoting restfulness and sleep.
Switch fizzy drinks for a glass of cherry juice which naturally boost levels of melatonin and can increase overall sleep efficiency.