Eat a turkey sandwich at dinner, as it’s high in tryptophan, selenium, zinc, and many other nutrients that promote a good night’s sleep! But, you better prepare your favorite snack with light meat and whole wheat bread.
A turkey sandwich is packed with nutrients that support a good night’s sleep
A turkey sandwich before bed contains many nutrients, which are involved in sleep functions. They regulate the synthesis and secretion of certain sleep hormones.
Above all, turkey is believed to promote a good night’s sleep because it’s one of the richest foods in tryptophan
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. The body doesn’t synthesize it. We have to take it from food.
Turkey contains about 310-320 mg of tryptophan per 100g. A 3 oz serving of cooked ground turkey provides about 270 mg of tryptophan.
Bread has some tryptophan as well. It varies greatly among different types of bread, though. Bread has approximately 40-240 mg of tryptophan per 100g. A medium slice of wheat bread has between 12 and 77 mg of tryptophan.
So, a typical turkey sandwich contains about 310 mg of tryptophan. This dose is more than the Daily Value!
The recommended daily intake of tryptophan for most adults is between 250 and 425 mg. However, most people who follow a well-balanced diet consume much higher dosages.
Among other benefits, a dinner high in tryptophan may improve Stage IV sleep, sleep onset latency, and obstructive sleep apnea!
Tryptophan is converted into serotonin and niacin by the body.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which plays a key role in sleep quality and duration. Eating foods high in tryptophan like turkey isn’t enough, though. Sun exposure, exercise, as well as adequate intakes of carbs, certain vitamins and minerals are necessary for helping the body naturally produce high amounts of serotonin.
Niacin, which is also synthesized from tryptophan, has beneficial effects on sleep as well. However, we can skyrocket our daily niacin intake by consuming certain foods.
Moreover, the body requires high amounts of serotonin and tryptophan, in order to produce melatonin, which is known as the “sleep hormone”.
The body produces melatonin mainly during the night. It’s secreted from the pineal gland. Among others, melatonin regulates circadian rhythm, physiology, and sleeping patterns.
Also, melatonin is beneficial for weight loss and muscle recovery after strenuous exercise.
Therefore, it’s beneficial to consume foods high in melatonin in the afternoon or at night.
In fact, it’s better to prepare your favorite turkey sandwich with whole grain bread. It contains substantially more fiber than white bread.
A diet high in fiber is good for a better, restorative sleep with fewer arousals.
Moreover, fiber prevents spikes of blood sugar. It controls postprandial glucose responses, as it delays sugar digestion.
Poor glycemic control can cause poor quality of sleep, while insomnia may increase glucose levels.[6,7]
Additionally, eating a turkey sandwich at dinner promotes a good night’s sleep because it’s particularly high in protein. A diet high in protein has been associated with better sleep quality.
Moreover, meals high in protein and fiber support weight loss, as they have a great satiating effect. Eating a filling food at dinner prevents late-night snacking of fattening food.
On the other hand, eating fatty food right before bedtime can have detrimental effects on sleep quality. Also, it makes you gain weight.
A typical turkey sandwich has up to 30 grams of protein!
Also, a turkey sandwich contributes to the daily iron intake. It has about 2.7 mg of iron. This dose is 15% of the Daily Value!
Turkey and bread have a moderate iron content. A serving of turkey provides about 1.2 mg of iron, while a serving of bread has 1.5 mg.
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide. It has been linked to sleep disorders like restless legs syndrome.
A turkey sandwich before bed could improve sleep onset latency and duration because it’s also a great dietary source of zinc.
Zinc deficiency is very common as well. Among men, in particular.
Treating zinc deficiency could increase the duration and the quality of sleep!
A turkey sandwich provides about 3.6 mg of zinc. This dose is 32% of the Daily Value!
A serving of turkey has about 2.6 mg of zinc, while 2 slices of whole wheat bread have about 1 mg of zinc.
Meat is the main source of zinc for many people. But, we can get more than enough zinc from a plant-based diet as well.
High selenium intake has been associated with optimal sleep duration. Especially among overweight people.
Turkey is one of the richest foods in selenium, containing 31 mcg per 100g.
Bread is also an excellent source, with 25 mcg of selenium per 100g.
Hence, a turkey sandwich may improve sleep because it has approximately 40 mcg of selenium, which is 72% of the Daily Value!
Turkey sandwich is the best snack for skyrocketing the daily intake of selenium. Only Brazil nuts have significantly more selenium per serving. But, we shouldn’t consume more than a handful. Too much selenium may have adverse effects.
Moreover, turkey is one of the richest meats in magnesium.
Whole wheat bread has decent amounts as well. On the other hand, white bread contains negligible amounts of magnesium.
A turkey sandwich with whole wheat bread contains about 72 mg of magnesium. It provides about 17% of the Daily Value!
Healthy magnesium concentrations are essential for a good night’s sleep. It may affect sleep quality, and duration, as well as daytime falling asleep, sleepiness, and even snoring.
Furthermore, turkey sandwich is an excellent dietary source of potassium. It provides up to 400 mg of potassium, which is 12% of the recommended daily intake.
2 slices of whole wheat bread contain about 150 mg of potassium. A serving of turkey has about 240 mg of potassium.
Low potassium intake can cause poor sleep quality. Especially among women. Actually, low serum potassium levels can be a predictor of poor sleep.
How long before bed should I eat a turkey sandwich?
As a rule of thumb, we should have dinner at least 2 hours before bedtime. Dinner right before bed can make you gain weight.
The exact time of the day to have dinner for better sleep and weight loss is different for everyone. It depends on circadian rhythm.
Also, eating right before bed can affect sleep quality. Especially if you eat hard to digest foods.
Moreover, you should avoid consuming fast food or packaged foods at dinner. In most cases, they’re packed with salt. Salt can have detrimental effects on sleep. It may disturb sleep, as it makes you thirsty.
How to eat my favorite sandwich for better sleep?
Prefer consuming a turkey sandwich at dinner with skim turkey and whole grain bread. It’s easier to digest and has fewer calories. Additionally, whole grain bread is richer in essential minerals for a good night’s sleep.
Also, you could use cottage cheese to prepare your favorite late-night snack. Cottage cheese at dinner supports weight loss and a good night’s sleep!
Furthermore, light meat and cottage cheese are low in saturated fat. Too much saturated fat before bed may negatively affect sleep.
According to the American Heart Association, we shouldn’t consume more than 13 grams of saturated fat a day. Long-term consumption of higher amounts can raise the level of LDL cholesterol, which can be dangerous for the cardiovascular system.
In addition, you could prepare a late-night snack with chicken, egg, milk, cheese, sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame seeds. These are the richest common foods in tryptophan, the most important amino acid for a good night’s sleep!
Moreover, you could drink a glass of cranberry juice before bed with your turkey sandwich. It’s beneficial for sleep, as cranberry juice is the richest beverage in melatonin.
Moreover, you could eat Greek yogurt with berries, such as strawberries or raspberries at dinner. Berries contain crucial for sleep vitamins, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and folate, as well as powerful antioxidants, such as resveratrol and anthocyanins, which all contribute to a good night’s sleep.
Other great late-night snacks for better sleep are:
What’s the best time to eat a turkey sandwich?
Actually, if your goal is to lose weight, a great time of the day to eat a turkey sandwich, as part of a well-balanced diet is at breakfast, between meals, or after exercise!