Foods And Remedies That Help You Sleep Better At Nights
If you are finding it increasingly difficult to sleep at nights, you may find it startling to note that the reason for the same could most probably lie in your eating habits.
For facts like what you eat and how much you during dinners play important roles in determining how peacefully you sleep in the night.
It is widely known that serotonin and melatonin are two substances (also called neurotransmitters) that induce sleep in the human body. And tryptophan is like a raw material; an amino acid that is used by the brain in order to build the two substances.
And so, generally speaking, it would be easy to conclude that if the body has more amounts of tryptophan, the brain would use the same to create more serotonin and melatonin, which in turn would slow down the amount of traffic flowing to the brain. The end result? You would start feeling drowsy before you know it.
Ways to increase the tryptophan level in the body
Now that we know that the presence of tryptophan in the body enables us to go to sleep, we need to find out a way to increase the level of the same right before we go off to sleep in the night. And that is where this article comes into the picture.
Accordingly, there are a number of foods that increase the tryptophan levels in the body suitably. Called sleepers, these foods essentially contain tryptophan in high levels in addition to containing other nutrients that would initiate the formation of the substance in the body.
Some essential foods that contain high levels of tryptophan include flaxseed, soy, honey, turkey, yogurt, milk, fish, cherries, bananas, leafy vegetables (for example lettuce, broccoli, kale and spinach etc. induce sleep by combating stress, turkey, nuts, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, and chamomile tea.
In addition to these regular sleepers, it is also recommended that you eat foods rich in magnesium (for example wheat bran, cashews, almonds and kelp etc.) and vitamin B6 and B12 (for example sun flower seeds, oil, wheat germ etc.), as these sleep friendly nutrients act as effective muscle relaxants.
Significance of carbohydrates for sleep:
Along with foods that contain tryptophan, foods that contain carbohydrates help you sleep better. Intake of carbohydrates would ensure the increased release of insulin which would in turn remove certain sleep disturbing amino acids from the bloodstream while leaving more room for tryptophan to enter the brain and start creating serotonin and melatonin.
Accordingly, some medically approved carbohydrate – rich dinners (spare levels of protein can be allowed) that are known to induce sleep include scrambled eggs with cheese, sea food (tuna salad sandwich), pasta with cottage cheese, sesame seeds in salads, sandwiches or crackers; whole wheat bread with hummus, tofu stirfry, and poultry, meat with vegetables.
Dinner time snacks:
Most of us tend to opt for bed time snacks in order to sleep better. If you are one of those individuals who belong to this group, then here are some healthy choices that would enable you to sleep like a baby in the night with minimal or no disturbances at all.
These include whole grain cereal with milk, tofu with hazel nuts, peanut butter sandwich, sesame seeds (the ground variety), raisin cookies, oatmeal with milk, ice cream and apple pie etc.
Wakers to avoid:
Now that you have an idea of the foods that act as sleepers, you would most probably want to note the foods that act as wakers and actually disturb your sleep to no end. These are the foods you would want to steer clear off before your bed time.
Foods that are high in protein can disrupt your sleep. Accordingly, protein rich foods (with minimal levels of carbohydrates) help in the formation of an amino acid called tyrosine which actually does a very good job of keeping you awake for longer periods.
Fried and spicy foods are hard to digest and can cause your digestive system to over perform, thus disturbing your sleep. Restrict the intake of wine and other alcoholic beverages during the night. These drinks can leave your body dehydrated, waking you up in the middle of the night for water!
And how can we ever forget caffeine? The one so called ‘long standing’ product that takes nearlr 14 hours to metabolise completely. So if you are a regular ‘coffee drinker’ and find it difficult to sleep at nights, it might most probably be due to all that caffeine collecting up inside the body.
Some other options you would need to avoid in order to sleep better in the nights include foods that contain high levels of sugar and nicotine; both of which rev up the brain instead of relaxing it!
Facts to be wary about
In addition to eating the right foods that would help you sleep better, here are a couple of other pointers you need to be wary about regarding the same issue!
Using the equation correctly:
Remember the basic equations! High carbohydrate + medium protein meals would enable you to sleep better while high protein + medium carbohydrate meals would rev up your system.
With these two equations in mind, you need to focus on how to channel your diet in accordance with your current requirements. For example, if you want to stay awake and prepare for an upcoming exam, opt for foods that adhere to the second equation. And if you want to do nothing but hit the bed; opt for foods that adhere to the first equation.
Eat Light and On Time:
Most of tend to have the general notion that heavy meals would make us feel drowsy. However the truth is far from it! It has been found out that a high carbohydrate meal with no other essential nutrients would not succeed in making you sleep. The right choice would be to opt for meals that contain essential amounts of other nutrients along with carbohydrates to balance the sleep inducing process.
Set a regular pattern of when you eat and stick to it! Dinners are best eaten at least 2-3 hours before bed time. Late meals would mean delayed digestion which would inturn cause your stomach to grumble all night long, disturbing your sleep in the process.
In addition to this, heavy meals would most definitely take longer periods to digest. In these cases, it is best recommended to opt for light evening meals in order to sleep peacefully at night!
Photo Credit- Guidediet.info