6 Foods That Help You Sleep Better
Your eating habits can have a direct effect on your day—emotionally, mentally, and physically. A healthy, balanced breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, giving you energy for the rest of the day. Skipping meals can result in tiredness and irritability. Eating too soon before bed will raise your body temperature and metabolic rate, making it difficult to fall asleep.
What's more, the type of food you eat can also have an effect on your energy and overall health. Excessive intake of fatty, processed foods may result in weight gain and may cause heart problems or diabetes. Spicy foods, in moderation, might help boost your metabolism. Eating the following six foods can help fight insomnia and aid in a better night's sleep.
Bananas. Who knew a sleeping pill could come in a peel? Bananas contain large amounts of tryptophan, which has been shown to allow the brain to release melatonin and serotonin. The release of these chemicals produces a relaxed, soothing effect. What's more, researchers from the University of Wisconsin have identified a gene that controls the flow of potassium into cells, which is required to maintain normal sleep patterns. Bananas may help open these channels offering a better night's sleep.
Turkey Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread. Although sandwiches are often associated with lunch, eating a small turkey sandwich on wheat bread can help produce sleep-like effects. Eating carbohydrates stimulates the release of insulin, which will clear the bloodstream of amino acids that compete with tryptophan. This allows more of the natural sleep-inducing amino acid to enter the brain. It is then converted to serotonin and produces a lethargic feeling.
Warm Milk. Don't write this one off as an old wives' tale—its heavy-eyed effects are real. Dairy is a great source of tryptophan, but the real reason this nighttime beverage can help you sleep may be psychological. If mom gave you warm milk when you were a child, it may trigger those cozy memories of home, childhood, and invoke feelings of relaxation.
Oatmeal. Because oats are rich in carbohydrates, they open the door for tryptophan to enter the brain. Mixing your oatmeal with milk is an unparalleled sleep concoction. A small bowl of warm cereal with a splash of maple syrup can also create a cozy feeling, begging you to get under the covers.
Honey. There's a reason why some call honey the Swiss army knife of alternative medicine. It's high in antioxidants, B-vitamins, and is known for its antibacterial effect. Honey can also help you get to sleep quicker. Although too much sugar can be stimulating, a small amount of glucose tells your brain to shut off orexin, a chemical known to trigger sleep disorders. Add honey to your warm milk or oatmeal for tasty, sleep-inducing snacks.
Almonds. Almonds contain a dynamic duo of calming ingredients. They're known to be high in both magnesium—which acts as a muscle relaxer—and tryptophan. Consequently, a handful of these protein-packed nuts are a healthy snack that can help you catch some z's.
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