If you’re reading this while rubbing your eyes with coffee in hand, you’re not alone. The average American is sleep deprived—logging around 6.8 hours a night, with 40 percent getting under six hours.1
So how exactly does your body function when it’s low on sleep? Studies have found the body reacts to sleep deprivation by adjusting hormone levels, such as increasing the “stress hormone” cortisol2, which tells the body to conserve energy, slowing digestion.3 Lack of sleep can even reduce the effectiveness of your morning workout.4 Simply put, when you aren’t getting enough sleep, you’re putting your body and mind under stress.5
Research has also shown that sleep deprivation can lead to both psychological and metabolic causes of weight gain.6 Sleepy people not only tend to eat more, and more of the high-calorie foods that can provide comfort, but also make poorer decisions generally, like skimping on exercise.7
So to help you get some quality Z’s tonight, we’ve compiled the seven best foods for sleep. They’re also all great for weight loss too—you can even find some of them in meals from Jenny Craig or on our Fresh & Free Additions list. Sweet dreams!