Healthy food and healthy sleep go hand in hand. Have you wondered why some food makes you sleepy but some gives you an energy boost? Understanding how nutrients affect your body can help you stay productive during the day and get uninterrupted sleep at night. Melatonin is the hormone released in your brain when it prepares the body to sleep. Food containing carbohydrates, proteins and amino acid tryptophan are some of the main catalysts to make you sleep. The release of these catalysts produces melatonin in the brain that induces sleep. The level of melatonin production gets vastly affected if you don’t eat right or stay healthy. This leads to the suppression of melatonin production causing insomnia and other related health challenges.
While doctors recommend sleeping pill, you can avoid this by changing
up your lifestyle, eating better and exercising more. Let’s take a look at
different food items that can help you fall asleep easily and also keep you
asleep throughout the night.
Consumption of fruits like bananas, pineapples, kiwis, cherries, and oranges can significantly improve your sleep over time. Banana is rich in magnesium and potassium that are natural muscle relaxants. Pineapples and cherries are naturally rich in melatonin. Oranges are rich in Vitamin C that eases restlessness. Kiwis release serotonin which initiates sleeps and keeps you asleep at night.
Almonds and Walnuts, especially, are natural sleep inducers. Being rich in magnesium, it reduces the stress levels in the body thereby relaxing your muscles at night. Almonds and Walnuts also contain natural melatonin. Consuming 3-4 every night before bed can improve your sleep over time.
Carbohydrates have classic sleep-inducing properties. They regulate the glycemic levels causing the release of insulin in the blood cells. Excessive insulin can also boost amino acids tryptophan in the brain leaving you tired and sleepy. Consuming white rice, pasta, bread or any food that is high in carbohydrates one hour before bed should help you stay asleep throughout the night. Be careful to not over-consume carbohydrate-rich food if you are at risk or diagnosed with diabetes.
Did your mother ever force you to drink a glass of warm milk before bed when you were a child? Thinking back, did you ever have sleepless nights or irregular sleep then? The answer is always no. This is because milk has natural carbohydrates, calcium and tryptophan that can instantly relax your muscles and make you fall asleep. If you are not a fan of milk, you can also try an almond mix with milk to boost your sleep and treat your taste buds.
What not to have before bedtime?
Coffee or Tea
Consumption of caffeine two or three hours before bed can block the production of melatonin, keeping you awake and fresh at night.
Despite what your commercials might say, all energy drinks are rich in caffeine and sugar. Both of which will work against the release of melatonin and keeps the mind active.
Contrary to popular opinion, alcohol is not an effective sleep-inducer. It can cause you to toss around a lot and even produce night sweats that eventually will end up waking you from your sleep. Have your last glass of alcohol two hours prior to sleep for non-interruption.
Some medication for pain, weight loss or common cold have a lot more caffeine than a cup of coffee. If you suffer for sleepless nights but you are also prescribed such medication, make sure to consult with your doctor or the chemist before consuming them.