Are you tired and stressed? Well you are not alone. Almost 40 percent of Americans report symptoms of insomnia at some given point, according to the National Sleep Foundation. No matter what something usually effects your sleep, such as time change, stress at work and or some other problem in your life. In the end being tired sucks. But being tired all the time can lead to serious health problems including depression, heart disease. Before you reach for the latest prescription drug, why not reach for a utensil instead and take a look at your diet. Improving your diet can go a long way to help improve your sleep quality. Opt for foods rich in the right sleep inducing ingredients.
Cherries are great snack to help get you sleepy. Why does it work? All cherries are naturally high in melatonin which is a hormone that helps induce sleep. Eat a cup of whole cherries as a late night snack if you don’t want to drink cherry juice. Cherry juice also offers the same benefits.
Fish also contain a natural sedative, tryptophan. Shrimp, cod, and tuna contain the highest levels of this even more then turkey. Some seafood choices may not be the healthiest of choices do to some contain high contaminants or some species are over fished. Stick to safe catches like Pacific cod from Alaska or pole caught Albacore tuna.
This member of the mint family is a sleep inducing superstar for everyone. It seems to be most potent in combination with another herb called valerian. One study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research , 81 percent of people with some sleep problems took a combination of the herbs and indicated better sleeping then people who took the placebo. You can purchase them as supplements or you can make a tea by steeping one to two teaspoons of dried lemon balm and one teaspoon of valerian root in a cup of hot water for 5-10 minutes. Though make sure before trying this if you are taking any other medications, ask your doctor or pharmacist about any potential interactions.
Chamomile is another herbal remedy that people have used for many years to help sleep. In one study it calmed mice down as effectively as tranquilizers and in a human study it showed signs of helping calm generalized anxiety disorder. It’s easy to access chamomile as these teas are sold in every supermarket.
Bananas are super fruit that are packet with potassium and magnesium which are minerals that promote muscle relaxation. Studies with these proved that they can help with deficiencies related to restless leg syndrome and nighttime muscle cramps. Which are two conditions that can certainly interrupt your sleep. Try to make a goal to see if you can eat one banana a day to see if it can help your sleep problems.
Spinach is rich in potassium and magnesium, and also high in calcium and again plays a role in sleep. Calcium helps the body create more melatonin, which can help your body sleep better. You can get these great benefits from dark leafy greens such as Swiss chard and collard greens.
Another rich in melatonin boosting calcium product is milk. A number of studies indicate that calcium defiencies are linked to poor sleep. With the old age tradition of a warm glass of milk may help you sleep better after all.
Almonds are chalk full of magnesium and yet another source of calcium. You can have handful of them or maybe try some almond butter spread on a whole grain English muffin. This could help you get a better night sleep.
Carb and Protein
There is an on-going debate as to how well your body handles tryptophan and that getting it from high-protein foods can work against you. It can prevent the tryptophan from entering your brain. But when you are combining carbs with high protein foods, the insulin in your body produces in response to the carbs makes it easier to break through your brain barriers. So for a sleepy snack food think granola, oatmeal or whole grain cereal with organic milk.