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There is nothing more satisfying than a good night’s sleep. When waking up refreshed, after a sound sleep, your body and mind are energized. You are raring to go – take on the world. You feel infinitely charged up; your cognition levels are high, your confidence levels are propped up too. This is what good sleep can do to you.
As per the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, adults need 8 to 9 hours of sleep. The minimum sleep you can’t do without is 7 hours – not less than that. A good sleep affects the quality of our lives – the effects of sleep deprivation or sleep disorders, even if not immediately apparent, have long term health impacts.
There are certain types of foods that promote good sleep. These foods regulate the role of melatonin – the hormone responsible for controlling sleep patterns and sleep cycles. In this regard, here are some of the essential foods that promote deep sleep.
Yogurt, milk, and cottage cheese – all of these dairy foods promote good sleep. Rich in tryptophan, B vitamins, and magnesium, they support the production of melatonin.
Apart from having anti-inflammatory properties, almonds reduce levels of cortisol – the stress-producing hormone. Even tree nuts are an excellent source of nutrients that not only relaxes the brain but promotes the regeneration of cells in the brain. A renewed brain is always one that is active and receptive to sleep patterns.
Do bananas make you sleepy? Yes! Rich in potassium and magnesium, bananas have natural muscle relaxation properties. Tryptophan, if available in the body, is transformed into serotonin by the abundance of vitamin B6 in bananas. Serotonin is a chemical produced in the brain that relaxes the nerves and promotes sleep.
Asteraceae plant’s flowers are used to make this herbal tea. Rich in apigenin, which is an antioxidant, drinking this herbal tea is far better than drinking any caffeinated tea. In fact, caffeine falls in the category of foods that prevent sleep—drinking chamomile tea before bedtime can do wonders to sleep patterns. Chamomile tea is one of the preferred drinks that help you sleep.
Turkey meat is rich in tryptophan – this is reason enough to eat this meat moderately. When eaten in moderation, not only is this a great source of protein, but it promotes ideal sleep levels. Turkey is amongst the preferred sleep-inducing foods.
Insomniacs have greatly benefited from tart cherry juice. Adequately enriched with tryptophan and melatonin, cherry juice reduces inflammation, promotes healing. Importantly it is good at breaking down tryptophan into serotonin. That’s why eating dark tart cherry is said to keep the mind and body happy.
Higher glycemic index levels in white rice make the body more relaxed and prone to sleep. As per studies, white jasmine rice helps people fall asleep the fastest.
Fish that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel, increase the brain’s production of serotonin. Also high in vitamin D, fatty fish have all-round benefits. They are an excellent source of clean and lean protein as well.
Used in the treatment of patients with sleeplessness and anxiety, passionflower tea’s high magnesium content has a holistic effect on the body. High in several minerals, drinking this tea will bring down blood pressure, regulate hypertension, increase cardiovascular health, reduce anxiety, and promote quality sleep.
Eating a spoon of honey before bedtime helps the liver restock glycogen. Being fructose-rich, honey increases the fat-burning mechanism of the body. Not only that – when you wake up in the morning, you will feel a surge in your stamina – that’s what honey can do overnight.
Being a low-calorie fruit, it is amongst the most nutritious fruits to eat at any time during the day. Filled with serotonin-producing compounds, eating kiwi regularly increases cognition, decreases depression, reduces anxiety, and helps the brain synthesize more melatonin.
With more than 19 minerals and vitamins, this is amongst the most nutritious nuts to eat. Also, a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids and several other healthy fats, walnuts reduce bad cholesterol and promote heart health. These holistic benefits slowly increase a person’s sleep quality.
High in carbohydrates, eating oatmeal before bedtime may increase sleepiness. In the league of white jasmine rice, oatmeal induces sleep as the body has to expend energy to digest the food. So a person’s total energy balance is directed towards their digestive process, which makes the person drowsy and sleepy. Oatmeal should not be mistaken for foods that make you tired and sluggish.
The oxidative stress caused by sleep disorders can be reduced by eating these melatonin producing fruits – considered some of the best foods for sleep. Being rich in antioxidants, you should eat these fruits before bedtime. Low on calories and high in vitamins and nutrients, they are a good bedtime snack that also promotes regular sleep patterns.
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