Eating this specific breakfast combination is key to getting a good night’s sleep

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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There’s nothing we love more than a good sleep hack.

After all, between our hectic schedules, noisy neighbours and constantly pinging phones, it can be hard to drift off at the end of the day, let alone snag the seven to nine hours of sleep that experts recommend we get every night.

And while we stand by the soothing powers of hacks including pink noise, a bedtime podcast and even a glass of tart cherry juice, we’re always happy to add another sleep shortcut to our repertoire.

So we’re intrigued by the latest recommendation for a good night of sleep which, conversely, points towards eating a very specific type of breakfast in order to guarantee a restful night.

Namely, it states we should be eating precisely eight almonds and two dates within half an hour of waking to maximise our chances of getting the perfect night of sleep.

The recommendation was made by Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, a sleep therapist and author of Tired But Wired: How to Overcome Your Sleep Problems.

According to Dr Ramlakhan, the assortment of fruit and nuts can help the body produce melatonin, a hormone needed for a good night of sleep. It also provides the perfect mix of protein, fat and carbohydrate to kickstart the body’s metabolism and stabilise blood sugar first thing in the morning.

“Believe it or not, eating breakfast can help you sleep,” Dr Ramlakhan told The Telegraph.

“It’s as simple as this, if you don’t breakfast, your body believes it is living in famine and produces stress hormones that are not conducive to restful sleep.

But by eating breakfast, you’re letting your body know there is enough food and you are living in safety, which in turn switches on your sleep, energy systems.”

Insomnia and sleep issues affect as many as one in three people in the UK, with experts warning of a “sleep deprivation epidemic” in the Western world.

However, not everyone requires the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night, with genes, age and lifestyle factors all affecting how much kip we really need to function at our best.

But if you’re having issues nodding off or staying asleep, there are numerous resources that can help, including the Sleep Council’s guide to creating the perfect sleep environment and these tips from the NHS.

Images: iStock / Random House