How do we improve sleep?
We all most likely know what is helpful for sleep and what isn’t so helpful.
For example, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime will greatly improve your sleep and getting into a good bedtime routine.
Eating certain foods can help promote and improve sleep. You should consider adding more of these to your diet.
Sleep is often neglected and all so often we are becoming exhausted trying to do everything we can in one day. However, did you know that lack of sleep can lead to heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure and diabetes. It can also affect your concentration, mood, sex drive, performance and much more. So what foods can we eat to help us sleep, keep reading to find out more.
In our last blog about sleep hygiene and the importance of it, we talked about all the things you can be doing to help you sleep better. If you didn’t have a read or you have forgotten then click here to find out more.
Often, we overlook the link between food and sleep. However, the link between food and sleep is huge and not to be ignored.
So, let’s have a look at some foods that will help you get a better night’s sleep.
Walnuts are a good source of tryptophan, a sleep enhancing amino acid that helps make serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is one of the brains key chemicals in controlling brain regulation. It helps promote feelings of relaxation, calmness, and sleepiness. Lack of serotonin is often what leads to depression, that’s why people are given antidepressants to increase their serotonin levels. Melatonin helps controls your sleep and wake cycles. Small amounts of melatonin can also be found in some foods.
Almonds are full of magnesium which is a mineral that is good for promoting sleep.
Lactucarium is found in lettuce, it is like the effects of opium which has sedative qualities. So, ensuring you include lettuce in your salad is sure to boost your quality of sleep.
Tuna is high in vitamin B6, it can also be found in other fish such as salmon. Your body needs Vitamin B6 when making serotonin and melatonin.
A very small bowl of your favourite cereal according to the sleep foundation could help you get a better night’s sleep. This is due to the high carb content and calcium properties.
Potassium and magnesium are natural muscle relaxants, and bananas are a good source of both. They also contain the amino acid L-tryptophan, which gets converted to 5-HTP in the brain. The 5-HTP in turn is converted to serotonin (a relaxing neurotransmitter) and melatonin
According to research cherries naturally boost levels of melatonin.
Leafy green kale is perfect when trying to enhance sleep as it contains calcium which helps the brain use tryptophan to make melatonin.
Chickpeas are a fantastic source of protein but they are also filled with B6 which is good for producing melatonin.
According to research, honey allows tryptophan to enter the brain more easily, so a spoonful before bed in your chamomile tea may help you sleep better.
Oats are a natural source of melatonin, a naturally occurring compound which can cause drowsiness.
Including more of these in your diet, should help improve your sleep but be sure to also follow some simple sleep hygiene rules also.
If you’re not sleeping since you find it hard to relax then why not come along to our new relax and breathe classes. The classes are designed to help individuals learn how to relax using simple breathing and relaxation techniques.
Phone the clinic to enquire.
Although often our sleep quality can be improved with a few simple changes, there are some instances when these changes are not enough. If you’re still struggling to sleep or have difficulty with your quality of sleep then speak to your GP, there may be another underlying cause that needs to be addressed.
For More Information on Sleep click here.