Foods To Cure Sleeping Problem
Present day doctors all over the world are expressing concern as people are sleeping less than six hours a night. Adequate sleep is necessary for recharging our mind and body besides keeping a hosts of ailments at bay.
Doctors, however, point out that there is no specific number of hours that a person needs to sleep. Insomnia is defined by the inadequate quantity or quality of sleep that affects our daily routine. While a short-term insomnia is no reason for worry, chronic sleep loss can have ill-effects on our heath by hampering our alertness, concentration and energy level.
However, its other long term effects like, high blood pressure, weight gain, decrease in the immune system, indigestion, puffy eyes, shallow skin, dark circles under the eyes are more dangerous.
Citing the reasons necessary for adequate sleep, the doctors say that sleep helps the brain to consolidate memory better. It also recharges the brain and helps in better digestion of food and thereby checking weight gain. Sleep debt leads to greater number of falls, accidents and errors due to lack of alertness. Sleep deprivation has a major effect on our mood swings.
It makes us irritable, impatient and moody. It often leaves us too tired to do things that we generally enjoy. Cardiovascular health is also related to our sleeping habits. Serious sleep disorders result in higher stress hormone level, irregular heart beat and hypertension.
Those with lack of sleep often report fatigue and lethargy, because of which they feel sleepy and have difficulty in enjoying activities with children and other family members. Due to this they often avoid family and work functions as well as leisure activities. Fatigue also interferes with the sex life, which adversely affects their relationships.
So sleep debt will eventually manifest itself in our health and well-being. Research has found that sleep deprived drivers are two and a half times more likely to get into car accidents than others. In addition, insomniacs report memory problem, difficulty in coping with minor hassles, and completing tasks.
But do not lose sleep over these matters. Doctors claim that our sleep is directly related to our food habit. While certain foods help in inducing sleep, others harm our sleep pattern. Therefore, eating right is a better option than popping pills to treat insomnia. Chemical tryptophan, found in certain foods, helps the brain release sleep-inducing hormones like serotonin and melatonin and sends us off to the dreamland. So find out which food would get you a restful slumber and which one would hinder your sleep.
Do not dismiss it as an old wives’ tale. There is a science behind the belief that a glass of warm milk can help you sleep better. Dairy foods like milk, yoghurt, contain tryptophan, and so do fish, turkey, bananas, oats, cherries, nuts, and honey, wholewheat bread, leafy vegetables and soy.
Other important components like Magnesium (present in wheat bran, cashews, almonds, brewer’s yeast), Vitamin B6 andB12 (available in tuna, wheat germ, sunflower seeds and oil) contain sleep-inducing nutrients.
The beneficial properties of dark green leafy vegetables are well-known as they are best sources of nutrition but low in calories. Now scientists have added another feather to the crown of leafy vegetables by saying that greens like broccoli, lettuce, spinachand kale are storehouses of vitamins that are essential for fighting stress and encouraging restful sleep.
Carbohydrate-rich foods complement dairy foods to raise the level of sleep-inducing hormones in the blood. So go ahead and indulge your cravings for a few late night snacks with a bowl of cereal and milk, crackers and yogurt or cheese and bread and cheese.
We often feel very uncomfortable when we lie down with a full belly. Added to this, spicy and high-calorie eatables are difficult to digest and cause heartburn, interrupting our sleep or keeping us awake. So try to have your meal early, at least four hours before you go to bed. And also avoid foods with high sugar content, caffeine, and nicotine as they arouse the brain instead of soothing it.
Do you know that the evening cup of coffee with your friends may disrupt your sleep? Even if consumed in moderation, caffeine can affect our sleep. Also remember about chocolate, cola, tea and decaffeinated coffee as these are also other sources of caffeine. like. Therefore it is best to avoid caffeine after noon.
Interestingly, doctors suggest that if you have problem sleeping at night, you can indulge in a little snacking. But be cautious, do not use it as an opportunity to overeat. While a little food in your stomach will induce sleep, a heavy meal will tax your metabolism and keep you awake. Have a banana or crackers as they are light but sleep-inducing.
Chuck the Burger
We all know the downside of high-fat foods as it make people, including children, obese. Now research says that these junk foods also disrupt sleep cycles, keeping us awake for longer period. So avoid late night snacking with fried chips and burgers.
Some drugs like pain-killers, diuretics, weight-loss pills etc, too contain caffeine. In fact, doctors say that their caffeine content may be more than that of a cup of coffee. So consult your doctor or check the label of the medicines to make sure that it does not disrupt your sleep.
Alcohols may help you fall asleep faster, but do not overlook the negative aspects. Its regular consumption may cause headaches, less restful sleep, nightmares and frequent awakenings. Since alcohol also dehydrates the body, it makes us thirsty and irritable.
While protein is an important daytime fare, it should be limited at bedtime. Foods that are rich in protein are harder to digest. So to welcome sleep, give your high-protein snacks a miss at bedtime and reach for your glass of milk or some sleep-inducing carbohydrates.
Not many of us realize that fluid intake before bedtime compels us to visit the toilet more often at night, thereby interfering with our sleep. So while doctors suggest keeping our body hydrated throughout the day, have your fluids at least an hour before bed.
Herbal teas are believed to have properties that relaxes the mind and promotes restful sleep. Lemon Balm Tea and Chamomile Tea are considered refreshing and sleep-inducing. Sip a cup of herbal tea to treat insomnia and promote sleep.
Many have a wrong notion that a cigarette before bedtime will relax them. The fact is that nicotine is a stimulant that has similar effects on our sleep as caffeine. So it is best to avoid smoking before going to bed or if you wake up at midnight due to sleep disruption.
So eating right is one of the best ways to a sound sleep. Proper diet not only means calorie-counting but also foods that will transport you to your dreamland. Food and sleep have deep inter-connect. While proper food induces sleep, on the other hand reduced sleep increases intake of energy and fat, linking obesity to sleep.
So for a stimulating physical and mental energy, get proper sleep by incorporating necessary foods into your diet and avoiding harmful ones. So, leave those fidgety sleepless nights behind and wake up more refreshed, productive and active.