If you are one of those who stay awake half the night surfing through channels, waiting for sleep to take over, you have a problem.
Getting a good dose of sleep is incredibly important for one’s overall health and a good rest reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases, boosts the immune system and keeps the cranial function and digestion system healthy.
Organized by the World Sleep Day Committee of the World Sleep Society since 2008, March 13 is observed as World Sleep Day and intends to celebrate sleep and highlights important issues related to sleep. The day aims to make people aware of sleep disorders and promote better prevention and management.
It is recommended that a person gets between 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night for keeping their body healthy.
For the innumerable people out there, who suffer from sleeplessness, here are 6 foods to eat that will enhance your sleep quality :
Not feeling sleepy enough? A cup of warm milk could do wonders in helping you get that night time rest. This is because milk is a known source of tryptophan which improves sleep in people. The effect seems to be greater when taken along with melatonin and accompanied by regular exercise.
In a study published in the International Journal of Tryptophan Research, scientists found that tryptophan produces therapeutic effects through melatonin mechanisms that help treat sleep disorders.
If you are not having proper sleep, do not go bananas over it, but instead have some bananas to induce some restfulness. Turns out, bananas too contain tryptophan and are a good source of magnesium, both of which help a person get a good night’s sleep.
Scientists have found that edibles like bananas, oats, dried prunes, bread, and even chocolate are rich sources of tryptophan.
3. White Rice
A number of us may have felt sleepy after an afternoon lunch laden with rice and curry. Turns out, white rice which is high in carb and low in fiber has a high glycemic index.
Scientists suggest that eating food with a high glycemic index such as rice, a few hours before hitting the sack can help improve sleep quality.
Research, published in the journal Sports Medicine found that athletes who may suffer from sleeplessness can have high GI foods such as white rice and pasta to promote sleep. The research, however, pointed out that they should have it an hour before bedtime.
A storehouse of numerous nutrients, almonds also contain the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin. A collaborative study by Sun Yat-sen University and The University of Hong Kong found that melatonin, which is found in almonds, improve sleep efficiency and could assist sleep.
Insomniacs could also benefit a lot from consuming adequate amounts of almonds, which are rich in magnesium as well. Magnesium induces sleep by reducing inflammation. Magnesium may also help reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol which is known to interrupt sleep.
A study carried out by Iran’s Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences found that feeding rats 400 mg of almond extract saw them sleep longer and more deeply than they did without having the extract.
5. Chamomile Tea
The popular chai contains generous amounts of flavones that reduce inflammation and boosts the immune system. A cup of chamomile tea also helps reduce anxiety and depression and improve skin health and better sleep quality.
Scientists carried out a study where they found that volunteers who consumed 270 mg of chamomile extract twice in a day for 28 days fell asleep 15 minutes faster and compared to those who did not.
So the next time you are not feeling sleepy, head down to your kitchen and make yourself a soothing cup of chai to help you relax and fall asleep.
6. Fatty fish
Fish like tuna, salmon, and mackerel are known to be incredibly healthy and among other benefits help in sleep as well.
Fatty fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation. Its anti-inflammatory properties, paired with high vitamin D content have the potential to enhance sleep quality, as both increase production of serotonin, which is a sleep-promoting brain chemical.
The nutritious fruit contains significant amounts of vitamins C and K as well as a decent amount of folate and potassium which benefits digestive health, reduces inflammation and lowers cholesterol.
A study conducted by Columbia University, New York found that kiwis can be one of the best foods to eat before bed as they improve sleep quality.
Their sleep-promoting effects could also be because of their high serotonin content, which helps regulate the sleep cycle.