What does food have to do with sleep? Our nutritional status and the food we eat always influence our sleep. Luckily, some foods actively aid falling asleep and staying asleep.
They relax tense muscles, quiet buzzing minds, and/or get calming, sleep-inducing hormones – serotonin and melatonin – flowing.
The following foods can make getting a good night’s sleep a dream come true:
1. Warm milk. It is not a myth. Milk has some tryptophan – an amino acid that has a sedative – like effect – and calcium, which helps the brain use tryptophan. In addition, there is the psychological throwback to infancy, when a warm bottle meant, “relax, everything’s fine.”
2. Turkey. Turkey contains tryptophan. To get the most from the tryptophan in turkey, eat a slice of white turkey meat on a slice of whole-wheat bread in the middle of the evening.
3. Honey. Drizzle a little in your warm milk or herb tea. Lots of sugar is stimulating, but a little glucose tells your brain to turn off orexin, a recently discovered neurotransmitter that’s linked to alertness.
4. Chamomile tea. Chamomile tea’s mild sedating effect has helped many restless people fall asleep – it is the perfect natural antidote for restless minds/bodies.
5. Bananas. They are practically a sleeping pill in a peel. In addition to a bit of soothing melatonin and serotonin, bananas contain magnesium, a muscle relaxant.
6. Oatmeal. Oats are a rich source of sleep – inviting melatonin, and a small bowl of warm cereal with a splash of maple syrup is cozy – and if you have the munchies, it is filling too.
7. Potatoes. Eating a little baked potato or a small serving of mashed or roasted potatoes will clear your body of acids that can block the effects of tryptophan.
8. Flaxseeds. When life goes awry and feeling down is keeping you up, trysprinkling 2 tablespoons of these healthy little seeds on your bedtime oatmeal. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a natural mood lifter.
9. Almonds. A handful of these heart-healthy nuts can be snooze inducing, as they contain both tryptophan and a nice dose of muscle-relaxing magnesium.
10. Whole-wheat bread. A piece of toast with your tea and honey will release insulin, which helps tryptophan get to your brain, where it’s converted to serotonin and quietly murmurs “time to sleep.”
Food avoid before sleep:
- Caffeine. A stimulant, caffeine boosts the activity of your nervous system, which makes falling asleep more hard.
- Alcohol. Although it may firstly make you feel sleepy, alcohol can cause unrestful sleep and frequent awakenings.
- Heavy, spicy foods, especially if you are prone to heartburn. Eating too much may cause you to feel physically uncomfortable when lying down.
- Drugs - make sure that your prescribed medications do not cause insomnia.