Last Updated on March 14, 2023 by theworldofsleepstaff
Eating seaweed in the evening is an age-old remedy used to promote restful sleep. For centuries, seaweed has been known for its medicinal properties and was even traditionally consumed before bed by some as a natural medicine.
Nowadays, it is still widely used as an effective way to help relax the body, mind, and soul while aiding in restful sleep.
So for those looking for a natural way to improve their sleep and health, eating seaweed before bed can be an effective solution.
We look at why that’s the case, along with the pros, cons, and tips when it comes to snacking on this superfood!
Note: This content is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment. Please consult a healthcare professional for any health-related issues.
Does Seaweed Affect Sleep?
Yes, seaweed is thought to positively impact sleep by providing the body with essential nutrients and minerals.
These include magnesium, which helps relax the muscles and can help ease insomnia; calcium, which helps reduce stress and improves relaxation; potassium and iodine, which are believed to have a calming effect on the nervous system.
Additionally, seaweed is thought to be a natural source of serotonin, the hormone that promotes relaxation and restful sleep.
It’s also a healthy option for those looking to snack late at night. It contains high amounts of fibre, minerals and vitamins that can help balance out the body’s hormones and provide essential nutrition.
Moreover, its natural flavour makes it an excellent replacement for unhealthy snacks like chips or chocolate. However, individuals with dietary restrictions or allergies must check the label before consuming.
Top 11 Benefits of Eating Seaweed Before Bed
Seaweed has many benefits, making it an excellent choice for those looking to improve their nightly slumber. Here are some of the top reasons why consuming seaweed before bed is beneficial:
1. Stress Relief
Seaweed is rich in potassium and magnesium, which can help reduce stress levels. It also helps to relax muscles and reduce tension, allowing for a deeper sleep.
These two minerals also help regulate heart rate and help you drift off into a peaceful sleep. Some studies have even found that seaweed can help to reduce anxiety and depression.
2. Natural Sleep Aid
Because of its high concentration of minerals, seaweed has a calming effect on the body and mind which can help promote restful sleep.
Additionally, seaweed contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps improve sleep quality.
What makes seaweed especially useful as a natural sleep aid is that it can increase melatonin levels in the body, known as the “sleep hormone”.
3. Improved Circulation
Seaweed contains many vitamins and nutrients that help improve circulation and blood flow while sleeping.
This can help to reduce swelling and inflammation while at the same time providing a soothing effect that helps people drift off into slumber.
Seaweed contains certain compounds that help to detoxify the body from harmful substances and toxins. This can help reduce inflammation and improve overall health, allowing for more restful sleep.
It is also said that seaweed helps reduce cortisol levels, the stress hormone, contributing to a better sleep cycle. In addition, seaweed can help balance hormones that may be disrupted due to stress.
5. Strengthens Immune System
Seaweed is packed with antioxidants that help to reduce oxidative damage and strengthen the immune system. This can help fight off infections while also promoting better sleep.
Furthermore, it has been said that those who consume seaweed regularly are less likely to experience allergies, allowing for more restful sleep.
6. Promotes Digestive Health
Seaweed is an excellent source of dietary fibre, which helps to support digestion and regular bowel movements. This is important for better sleep as it prevents bloating and abdominal discomfort that can keep you awake at night.
In addition, seaweed can help to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, improving sleep quality.
7. Rich In Nutrients
Seaweed is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients that can help support optimal health. This includes calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids, all beneficial for overall well-being and sleep quality.
8. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Studies have found that seaweed can help regulate blood sugar levels, which is essential for overall health and sleep. It does this by regulating insulin release in the body, which helps maintain energy levels throughout the night.
Moreover, seaweed helps to prevent nighttime hunger cravings, which can lead to poor sleep quality.
9. Improved Skin Health
Seaweed is known for its powerful anti-ageing properties, which help to improve skin health. In addition, it increases collagen production, encourages cell growth, and provides antioxidants that fight free radical damage.
All these benefits can help you look and feel younger while promoting better sleep quality.
10. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Seaweed has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. This can improve overall health and relieve pain and discomfort, allowing for more restful sleep.
11. Aids Weight Loss
Seaweed is low in calories and nutrient-rich, making it an excellent weight-loss aid. In addition, the consumption of seaweed before bed can help promote healthy weight loss while increasing energy levels and improving sleep.
By regulating blood sugar levels and providing necessary nutrients, seaweed can help curb hunger cravings, leading to healthier eating habits.
9 Helpful Tips When Eating Seaweed Before Bed
1. Start with a small amount of seaweed and gradually increase your intake to get the full benefits.
Add it to your favourite evening snack, such as a smoothie or salad. Plus, you can also sprinkle it on top of your favourite meal.
2. Choose high-quality seaweed to ensure the highest nutritional value possible.
The best thing to do is buy your seaweed from a reputable source or ensure it is sustainably harvested.
3. Remember to add other powerful superfoods to your meal for an added nutritional boost.
The best ones include chia seeds, hemp hearts, and goji berries.
4. Add a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender or chamomile, to your seaweed dish for relaxation.
This can help to reduce stress and promote better sleep.
5. Avoid overeating seaweed before bed, as it may cause discomfort due to its high fibre content.
6. If you are sensitive to iodine, make sure that you get tested for allergies first before consuming seaweed regularly.
7. Be mindful of your portion size when eating seaweed; it can fill and cause stomach discomfort if overdone.
8. Ensure drinking plenty of water when eating seaweed prevents dehydration.
9. Eat at least two hours before bedtime to give your digestive system enough time to process the nutrients from the food.
Who Should Avoid Eating Seaweed?
Though seaweed can benefit most people, some individuals should avoid eating it. This includes pregnant and breastfeeding women and people with thyroid issues or iodine sensitivity.
It is also important to note that some kinds of seaweed contain high levels of arsenic, which can be dangerous if consumed in large quantities.
For this reason, it is best to consult your doctor before adding seaweed to your diet.
7 Known Side Effects Of Eating Seaweed Before Bed
1. Increased risk of hypothyroidism: Although seaweed is an excellent source of iodine, consuming too much can lead to iodine overload, which may trigger hypothyroidism.
2. Nutrient deficiencies: Overeating seaweed can reduce the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals due to its high fibre content.
3. Poor digestive health: Consuming too much seaweed can cause bloating, gas, and abdominal discomfort due to its high fibre content.
4. Allergic reactions: Some people may experience an allergic reaction when consuming seaweed which can lead to difficulty breathing and skin irritation.
5. Interference with medications: Seaweed can interact with certain medications and reduce their effectiveness.
6. Low blood sugar: Overeating seaweed can cause low blood sugar, leading to dizziness, confusion, and fatigue.
7. Increased risk of cancer: Some studies have found that consuming too much seaweed can increase the risk of certain types of cancer.
Does seaweed have melatonin?
No, seaweed does not contain melatonin. However, it does contain high amounts of tryptophan, which can help to induce sleep and melatonin production.
Can I eat seaweed every day?
It is best to consume seaweed in moderation. Overeating can cause nutrient deficiencies and interfere with the absorption of medications.
Is seaweed good for weight loss?
Yes, seaweed can benefit weight loss as it is high in fibre and very low in calories. It also helps to reduce appetite and cravings due to its satiating effect.
However, consuming it in moderation and combining it with a healthy diet and exercise routine is essential for the best results.
Seaweed is a natural sleep aid that can offer many benefits such as improved circulation, detoxification, strengthened immune system, nutrient-richness and many more.
Consuming seaweed before bed can help to regulate hormones and blood sugar levels while promoting weight loss and healthy skin.
It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce pain and discomfort, allowing for a better night’s sleep. For best results, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before adding seaweed to your diet.
For those looking for a natural way to improve their sleep, seaweed before bed can be an effective solution. Its wide range of health benefits can help you feel more energized and refreshed to get your desired restful night’s sleep.