Can’t Sleep? Have You Tried…? (Part 3)

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Are you having trouble sleeping...have you tried "everything" and still can't sleep...well, have you tried...food? Yes that is right, eating certain foods in the evening can help promote sleep.

Wow, what foods help promote sleep?

Some of the most clinically proven foods that promote sleep include...

Almonds -

How can almonds help me sleep?

Almonds are rich in magnesium which helps relax overstressed muscles and promote sleep. Almonds are also an excellent source of protein which helps maintain a stable blood sugar level throughout the night, preventing frequent waking.

How many almonds should I eat before bed?

Most research suggests eating a 1 ounce portion of almonds at least one hour before bed to yield maximum sleep benefits.

Cherries - A study from the University of Pennsylvania showed that eating cherries or drinking a glass of cherry juice before bed could help individuals fall asleep faster.

How?

Cherries boost the body's level of melatonin, a hormone that induces sleep. Once our bodies' melatonin levels rise we begin to feel tired and start to fall asleep.

When should we eat cherries to help us fall asleep?

Research suggests an hour before bed.

Bananas -

How can bananas help with sleep?

Bananas are rich in tryptophan (an essential amino acid), potassium and magnesium, all of which promote sleep.

Figs - Figs are another great source of tryptophan.

How does tryptophan help us sleep? Tryptophan leads to the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that induces and maintains sleep.

So tryptophan helps increase our serotonin levels, which in turn helps us fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night?

Yes.

Cereal - A low-sugar cereal may be an excellent option for a late evening snack to help us sleep.

Why? Cereals are rich in complex carbohydrates, and complex carbohydrates promote sleep.

How?

Complex carbohydrates trigger insulin production in our bodies. Once our bodies start to produce insulin, it releases sleep-inducing brain chemicals that assist in falling asleep and staying asleep.

Oatmeal - Like cereal, oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate, and therefore helps promote sleep the same way. Additionally, oatmeal is rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium, which all promote sleep.

Milk - As children our mothers may have given us a warm glass of milk to help us sleep...so it should be no surprise to us that milk does promote sleep.

How?

It is rich in both calcium and tryptophan, which we know promote sleep

. Is this true of other dairy products?

Yes.

Tea - Many different teas, like Chamomile and green tea, can act as a natural sleep aid. However, whatever tea you chose, make sure it is decaffeinated.

So it appears certain foods can help us achieve a better night's rest.

Yes, they can. Sleep is crucial to our overall health. Without it our minds and bodies can't function. Therefore, whether we add one or all of the aforementioned foods to our diet, it is imperative we take steps to improve our sleep...because poor sleep equals poor health.

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About the Author

Marc Macera, PharmD, RPh's picture

1

Comments

P.V.ABHIGNA's picture

Sir, thank you for sharing such valuable information.

Regards,

ABHIGNA.P.V.

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