If you’ve ever dealt with insomnia, you’ve probably tried quite a few different hacks over the years to get to sleep quicker and stay asleep for longer. While common supplements like melatonin might be popular for helping you finally drift off, you may want to take a look at hemp seeds, which can be super beneficial for a full night’s sleep — and improve your overall health.
Hemp seeds are a complete protein that contain all of your essential amino acids, making them a superfood for your body. They’re not a sleeping pill in the traditional sense, but instead they enable your body to carry out several key functions that help you fall and stay asleep. These include regulating your blood pressure so that it doesn’t spike throughout the night and aiding in magnesium production, which is vital for deep, uninterrupted sleep.
“The combination of the amino acid tryptophan and vitamin B6 serve as precursors for melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle,” Kylene Bogden, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN, CLT, a wellness advisor for Love Wellness, told Well+Good about the seed’s benefits. “When eating hemp seeds, their vitamin B6 content will trigger the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin, which your body can then convert into melatonin.” Unlike a hyper-concentrated melatonin supplement though, which can mess with hormone levels and isn’t healthy for ongoing, long-term use, hemp seeds are an easy and sustainable addition to your diet. They trigger these important physiological processes instead of trying to jumpstart them artificially through a supplement.
Adding hemp seeds to your diet has more health benefits than just improving your sleep, too. Previous research shows that they may lower your risk of heart disease, reduce symptoms of menopause, support gut health, and bring down those cholesterol levels. Talk about a food really working overtime, right?
Getting more of hemp seeds in your diet doesn’t need to be difficult either. You can add one to two tablespoons a day to delicious fruit smoothies, superfood salads, and even cookies. (Yum!) Plus, you don’t have to eat them right before bed to make them effective; noshing on them throughout your day promotes overall better health, including better sleep.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.