Top 6 Foods That Help You Sleep Like A Baby
What happens when we don’t get our Zzz’s? It may surprise you. Lack of sleep will cause a plethora of events to occur such as: weight gain, faster aging, high blood sugar, it lowers your immune system, it affects your heart rate, leads to depression, a lack of memory, low-level inflammation and I could go on and on…
When you sleep, your brain does not sleep (as many believe), its metabolic activity is actually the same or higher than when you are awake. Your brain then goes to work to repair, rebuild and restore body cells. So if you are not getting quality sleep or sleeping for an adequate length – studies show an average of 7 hours for most is the sweet spot – you are most likely not feeling or performing your best.
Many people turn to prescription sleep aids when foods will do the trick and are genuinely benefiting your health. We now know that sleeping pills can induce drowsiness, but many don’t actually promote deep sleep or REM sleep. REM sleep is one of five stages of your sleep cycle and critical for optimal health.
Many foods contain naturally occurring substances that bring on sleep; Let nature take you to dreamland. You’ll sleep deeply knowing you are benefiting your health while you snooze.
Here are the top 6 foods that will help you sleep:
Fish. Fish is high in vitamin B6 which helps produce melatonin – the ‘sleep’ hormone that is triggered by darkness and an effective antioxidant. Salmon, cod, halibut, tuna, snapper and trout are highest in vitamin B6.
Walnuts. Walnuts are rich in tryptophan, an effective sleep-enhancing amino acid. Tryptophan helps make The hormone melatonin and the ‘feel-good’ hormone serotonin. In fact, walnuts contain their own source of melatonin that will help you fall asleep faster.
Almonds. Almonds are a great source of the mineral magnesium – especially important for muscle relaxation and quality sleep. Low levels of magnesium make it difficult to stay asleep.
Milk. A warm glass will encourage sweet dreams. Milk is high in the amino acid tryptophan, so it will have a sedative effect. Plus, it’s a good source of calcium, which helps regulate the production of melatonin.
Green Tea. Yes, add better sleep to this tea’s long list of healthy benefits. This tea contains the amino acid ‘theanine’ that promotes relaxation and a better quality of sleep. Also, green tea’s theanine is being used as a daily mood enhancer.
Hard cooked egg. Do not go to bed hungry. Having a high protein snack (instead of a refined carbs such as cakes or candy) before sleep can help balance blood sugar so that you do not experience 2 am or 3 am awakenings due to low blood sugar.
Everyone has trouble sleeping from time to time. Adding these specific foods will help you get back your quality of life full of vibrant energy. However, if you frequently have trouble sleeping, see your doctor to find out what steps you can take to improve your sleep.
To Your Health,
© 2013 DLS HealthWorks, LLC.
Lori Shemek, PhD, Health and weight loss expert, is the best-selling author of Fire-Up Your Fat Burn!