A healthy sleep is a shortcut to a healthy life. But owing to stress, topsy turvy routines, bad dietary habits and other lifestyle factors, many of us have trouble falling asleep, while others have trouble staying asleep. A new study from the University of Pennsylvania says that the key nutrients like carbohydrates, calcium and magnesium play an important role in regulating sleep. Eating the correct foods just before you hit the bed may help you fall asleep faster and deeper. Here is a list of foods which can act as ‘sleep promoters’ if you have them before bedtime.
Bananas are high in potassium and magnesium. Potassium helps to calm restless legs and avoid leg cramps, whereas magnesium helps relax nerves and muscles. Bananas also promote healthy digestion and improve blood circulation.
The natural sugar in honey slightly raises insulin and helps tryptophan in entering the brain more easily. Tryptophan makes serotonin and melatonin which are our body clock hormones and, as mentioned above, manage our sleep-awake cycle. So, a spoonful of honey before bedtime or some mixed with chamomile tea could give you a more restful sleep.
Lettuce contains lactucarium which has sedative properties and affects the brain in a similar way as opium does. A salad with lettuce at dinner or a concoction of brewed lettuce in water and mint can make you sleep faster.
Your sleep-awake cycle is regulated by ‘serotonin and melatonin’ which are your body clock hormones. Walnuts are a good source of tryptophan, which is a sleep enhancing amino acid and helps to make serotonin and melatonin. So, if you can’t have a peaceful sleep, it’s a good option to have 1-2 walnuts before you go to bed.
Eggs contain vitamin D which is said to have a good impact on your sleep. Vitamin D targets the neurons in the part of brain that helps you to sleep. A study suggests that people who are deficient in vitamin D have a hard time catching forty winks.
Any dairy product can help you sleep better because of their high calcium content. Calcium helps the brain use tryptophan to manufacture sleep triggering melatonin.
According to National Sleep Foundation, a bowl of your favorite flakes can help you get better sleep as they combine two components – carbohydrate (from cereal) and calcium (from milk), both of which help you sleep better.