Sleep is essential for any human being to function in the right way. Sleeping well and at the right time can decrease a significant number of diseases. That being said, falling off to sleep is not always easy. So are there ways you can help speed up the process? Yes they are, and this is one of the best ways to do it – It’s by eating the right kind of food and avoiding the food that keeps you awake. Many foods contain nutrients, chemicals, and other compounds that help control the body’s sleep cycle.
Here’s the list of things you can munch on to ensure falling asleep faster:
Almonds have countless benefits.
1 ounce (28 grams) of the dry roasted nuts contains 18% of an adult’s daily needs for phosphorus and 23% for riboflavin. It’s been claimed that almonds may help boost sleep
quality as well. Almonds, along with several other types of nuts, are a source of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin regulates your internal clock and signals your body to prepare for sleep But that’s not all, almonds help reduce the chances of having a chronic disease, the antioxidants incorporated in almonds help fight against harmful inflammation and are an excellent source of magnesium.
2. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is particularly effective at making you feel sleepy because of its chemical structure. The plant extract contains apigenin, a chemical compound that induces sleepiness when it binds to the GABA receptors in the brain. GABA receptors are the same receptors that bind to benzodiazepines, which are commonly used as anti-anxiety drugs because they have a calming effect. Similarly, when the apigenin in chamomile binds to GABA receptors, it has a sedative and relaxing effect — that’s why chamomile tea can make you feel sleepy. Chamomile Tea is also recognized for its ample health benefits. This tea includes flavones. This helps reduces inflammation that can lead to chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
3. Warm milk
Warm milk is a common home remedy for sleeplessness. Milk contains four sleep-promoting compounds: tryptophan, calcium, vitamin D, and melatonin. However, the childhood association that many people have between a warm cup of milk and bedtime may be more effective than tryptophan or melatonin in promoting sleep. Like having a warm cup of milk before bed can be a relaxing nightly ritual.
Kiwi is a fruit packed with nutrition and is low in calorie. In one small study, people who ate two kiwifruits 1 hour before bedtime for 4 weeks experienced improved total sleep time and sleep efficiency and also took less time to fall asleep. Kiwi is packed with fiber and has high carotenoid antioxidants, which help with low cholesterol, inflammation, and digestive health. It is not known for sure why kiwis may help with sleep, but researchers believe that it could relate to their antioxidant properties, ability to address folate deficiencies, and/or high concentration of serotonin.
Before we present our closing notes we also wanted to fill you in on some foods you should avoid in order to sleep better. To make sure you are eating the right things before bed, try to keep the following foods at bay.
High levels of caffeine in chocolate make it a poor choice for late-night snacking. During the latter stages of sleep, caffeine consumption can cause rapid eye movement (REM) to occur more frequently, which is why you’re more likely to feel groggy the morning after the night before. Other foods and drinks containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and energy drinks should also be avoided four to six hours before sleep.
While cheese is generally considered a comfort food, it is actually one of the worst foods to eat before bed. Strong or aged cheese, contains naturally high levels of the amino acid, tyramine, which make us feel alert. Tyramine causes the adrenal gland to release the ‘fight or flight’ hormone, which increases alertness for a number of hours.
Spicy food, such as curries, hot sauce and mustard, contain high levels of capsaicin. This chemical elevates body temperature by interfering with the body’s thermoregulation
process, which, in turn, disrupts sleep. Add this to the high levels of energy required to digest the spices, and you can kiss goodbye to a deep sleep.
Spicy foods are just one of a number of foods which are known for having a negative effect on sleep. Other foods, especially those which are high in fat and carbohydrates, should be
4. Ice cream
We all know that consuming too much sugar can have a negative impact on our health, but did you know it can also affect our sleep? Sugary foods, such as ice-cream and sweets, send blood sugar levels spiking at first, which then crash whilst you are asleep. A crash in blood sugar alerts the adrenals that there is an emergency, which, in turn, increases cortisol levels, and wakes the body from slumber.
The reason why certain foods help is because they are sleep-regulating hormones known as melatonin and serotonin. This basically means any fruit or beverage that naturally contains these hormones is safe to snack on before bed. Making sleep a priority ensures you have a healthier life to live.