01 Mar Foods That Could Help You Sleep
There are a variety of natural insomnia remedies including some sleep-inducing foods. Some contents of food such as amino acids (tryptophan), essential minerals (magnesium), or melatonin-production stimulating components may be beneficial.
The body uses tryptophan to help make niacin and serotonin. It is thought that serotonin produce healthy sleep and a stable mood. Magnesium seemingly plays a key role in sleep. Research has shown that even a marginal lack of it can prevent the brain from settling down at night. You can get magnesium from food. Good sources include green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, and almonds. Before you go overboard, you may need to consult with your doctor to determine whether you are able to take it because magnesium can interact with many different medications, and too much of it may result in serious health problems.
Food and Wine (nutrition publication) highlights several foods ideal for sleep:
- Cherries: The number one food to induce sleep is none other than cherries. The fruit is naturally high in the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.
- Soy: Soy has extra magnesium. This mineral helps relax muscles and makes it easier to sleep.
- Avocados: Another reason to adore avocados, their high amounts of unsaturated fat can increase your serotonin levels, the chemical that stimulates and regulates the sleep/ wake cycle. They are also high in magnesium, which can help you for some shut-eye.
- Chickpea hummus is high in the amino acid tryptophan, the chemical that can help you fall asleep normally. It is also high in folate, which helps regulate sleeping, and Vitamin B6 which helps regulate your internal clock. If that’s not enough to get sleep, the creamy dip is also high in the muscle-relaxing mineral, magnesium.
- Fish: Contains tryptophan. Some varieties, like salmon, tuna, and snapper, also have vitamin B6, which helps in the production of melatonin.
- Nuts: Most nuts provide a healthy source of calcium and unsaturated fats, which help improve serotonin levels. Almonds specifically have high amounts of magnesium that promote relaxed muscles and sleepy feelings.
- Warm milk: Warm milk before bed and if is almond milk is an excellent source of calcium, which helps the brain make melatonin. Plus, warm milk always will be marvellous and relaxing memories of your mother or grandma helping you fall asleep.
- Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate contains serotonin. Needs to be dark because a milk chocolate bar gives you a high caffeine buzz maintaining yourself awake.
Shelby Harris PsyD, Director of the behavioural sleep medicine program at the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York, says that the best sleep-inducing foods include a combination of protein and carbohydrates, suggesting a light snack of half a banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter, or a whole wheat cracker with some cheese. Eat one of these snacks about 30 minutes before hitting the hay.
The combination of potassium and magnesium help relax your body and trigger those sleepy symptoms. You can also enjoy that banana before bed for some extra tryptophan, which will knock you out in about an hour, and vitamin B6, which has been linked to a better night sleep.
- Arielle Weg. 13 Foods That Could Be Affecting Your Sleep. Food and Wine/ Cooking Light. Available: http://www.foodandwine.com/syndication/foods-affecting-your-sleep
- WebMD Feature Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on April 25, 2014