For a very long time there remained no association between diet and sleeping patterns. Recent advances in the fields of medicine have revealed that there is a profound connection between what and when you eat and your sleep.
Relationship between Food and Serotonin
Serotonin is a chemical that functions to relax and soothe your brain. Serotonin is manufactured from Tryptophan. Carbohydrates are rich in tryptophan. That is why, when you eat foods rich in carbs you feel drowsy and sleepy. On the other hand, foods rich in proteins make you vigilant and attentive.
Here I have presented few foods that assist in healthy sleep and some other foods that actually disrupt your sleep.
Foods that’ll lull you:
1. Almonds – A mouthful of almonds have enough tryptophan and magnesium to lull you to one of your best sleeps ever.
2. Honey – A tablespoon of honey is enough to release adequate Orexin. Orexin in turn shuts off the alertness of your mind and makes is dreamy and drowsy. Warning: If you overdo it, you’ll be late to work the next morning!
3. Oatmeal – Although oats are the most favorite breakfast meal, the grains in oat are highly rich in carbs which induce synthesis and transport of tryptophan to the brain and you doze off to sleep. Oats also contain melatonin which again relaxes human brain.
4. Cherries – Nuts, oats and cherries are rich in melatonin. Melatonin regulates your sleep cycle. If you make these your regular night time snacks, they’ll regulate your sleep cycle to maximum efficacy.
5. Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate is a direct source of serotonin. By now you must know how vital serotonin is to induce sleep.
6. Herbal Teas – All herbal teas particularly those rich in melatonin are recommended to adjust your sleep cycles to utmost perfection.
7. Hummus – Hummus is highly recommended for those who find difficulty in durational sleep. If you wake up multiple times during the night, add hummus to your meals.
8. Bananas – The magical mineral in banana is magnesium and vitamin B6 and potassium too, to some extent.
9. Turkey – Researches have proved that turkey contains both melatonin and serotonin. Therefore, it is effective in the long term control of your sleep cycles too.
Foods that’ll keep your eyes wide open
1. Caffeine – Caffeine is the most famous stimulant known.
2. Spices – the spicy barbecued chicken may be yumm for dinner but when it comes to bedtime, it’ll give you one hell of a heartburn and regurgitation.
3. Processed Meat – Tyramine is the culprit in processed meat. It releases chemicals that keep your mind wakeful and alert.
4. Alcohol – Yes, alcohol is a depressant and not a stimulant, it is widely used to relax or ease down. But the inner story is that actually alcohol prevents your body to enter the deep phase of sleep.
5. Milk Chocolate – Milk chocolate contains Dopamine which is the commonly used stimulant in brain. A bar of milk chocolate is recommended in the morning to keep you alert the entire day.
6. Tomato sauces – Limit tomato sauce based spaghetti to evenings. Tomato can induce heartburn and regurgitation.
7. Ginseng Tea – Unlike other herbal teas, ginseng has been proved to be a stimulant.
8. Energy Drinks – Another stimulant! These beverages contain taurine which increases the levels of alertness, concentration and also blood pressure.
9. Excess fatty foods – These cause indigestion, heartburn and acid reflux. It disturbs your good night sleep.
To conclude, start your day with stimulating foods that’ll keep you charged and alert the entire day. Take a bedtime snack of sleep inducing food so that you can sleep through the night soundly. These natural foods will not show result within a day or two but it is a gradual process and only regular intake of foods will help. You must know that your health comes first and changing your habits won’t cure you of sleep deprivation overnight. You must continue to eat healthy and live healthy and you will see results soon enough.