Many of us have a troubled relationship with that old friend called sleep. While some of us cannot fall asleep, others have trouble staying asleep. The reasons for not sleeping well could be that
- you’re stressed out
- you wake up hungry in the middle of the night
- there is caffeine in your system
- You wake up breathless after a heavy bout of snoring
Whatever the reason may be, there is a way you can circumvent this problem- Food. Yes. Certain foods help you relax and increase the melatonin levels in your body, thus increasing the chances of having a good night’s rest.
Now, let’s get you acquainted with our choice of foods that can effectively act as your ‘guardians of sleep’. All of these can be found in our Indian kitchens.
- Bananas – This versatile fruit is not only the perfect snack after a session of exercise, but it can also be a very good bedtime snack. Here’s why…
This fruit is rich in potassium and magnesium. These minerals aid in relaxing overstressed muscles, thus readying your body for sleep. Banana also contains an amino acid called tryptophan. The body uses tryptophan to produce serotonin (a sleep-inducing neurotransmitter), and melatonin alias ‘the sleep hormone.’
- Dairy products – It is a common Indian practice to have a glass of milk or some curd before hitting the sack. The fact is that all dairy products are rich in tryptophan. This amino acid increases the level of serotonin and melatonin in your body thus inducing sleep. The calcium present in milk and milk products help reduce stress and regulate muscle movements. Pour yourself a tall glass of milk and knock yourself out!
- Almonds – Much like bananas, almonds contain magnesium that relaxes muscles. They contain the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan. The proteins present in almonds help in stabilizing blood sugar levels and will keep you full. Help yourself to a handful of almonds or, maybe, a tablespoon of almond butter. Just go nuts!
- Herbal Teas – Decaffeinated in nature, herbal teas are known to have a relaxing and calming effect on the mind. Among all the herbal teas that are promoted as sleep-inducing, Chamomile is considered as the most effective. Chamomile is believed to have a flavonoid compound which has a relaxing effect and prepares your body for sleep. Research has found that chamomile can help people suffering from insomnia to sleep.
- Honey – A little bit of honey before bedtime provides the liver the glycogen that it supplies to the brain for the night. You are less likely to wake up in the middle of the night looking for something to eat. Honey facilitates the release of melatonin in the brain. It also helps in stabilizing the insulin levels in the blood. Instead of downing a spoonful of honey, you could drink it with herbal tea and gain the combined advantage of both the sleep-inducing foods.
- Sweet Potato – Sweet potato is a rich source of essential minerals important for sleep, namely- potassium, magnesium, and calcium. They help relax your muscles and reduce stress, thus preparing you for restful sleep.It also contains vitamin B6 which is the vitamin which helps the body make melatonin and regulates the body’s internal clock.
There are nutrients that play a key role in delivering sound sleep, try to include foods that have these nutrients in your daily diet.
If you want a diet tailored to suit your specific needs, we, at One Life have an experienced team of dietitians. You could also avail their services at home. For more information call us on our toll-free number 1800 425 19999.