Which foods should you eat if you want to prevent insomnia?
The ones that you’ll finish at the very least two hours before bedtime.
Not being facetious:Sleep researchers have found that food intake close to bedtime negatively affects the quality of sleep.
Timing aside, are some foods better than others, when it comes to helping us get some rest? Yes. In an aggragate review of studies of the relationship between diet and sleep published in 2016 in the Journal advances in Nutrition, scientists from the University of Helsinki notedthe following:
1.MILK- the traditional pre-bedtime remedy to which your mom subscribed , does contain several nutrients with sleep-promoting properties. Among them is calcium, which helps to regulate melatonin.
2.TRYPTOPHAN- the amino acid that is key to production of the calm-inducing and drowsiness-evoking neurotransmitter serotonin, is also found in milk and yogurt. While people attribute Thanksgiving Day sleepiness to turkey , richer sources of tryptophan are nuts, seeds,tofu,cheese,red meat,chicken,fish,oats,beans,lentils, and eggs.
3.Another reason why these sources of protein help you sleep , they reduce acid reflux , which keeps some of us awake.
4.Bananas contain the muscle relaxants magnesium and potassium.
5.Cherries and Kiwis have shown to reduce the time is takes to fall asleep and to promote higher quality sleep. Cherries pack quite a bit of melatonin and kiwis are great seratonin boosters.
6.Group B Vitamins, especially folate and Vitamin B6, also promote sleep because they are necessary for proper absorption of trytopahn and thus for the production of seratonin. They are found in pork,poultry,fish,wholegrains,sunflower seeds,and eggs.
7.The review by the University of Helsinki scientists did not mention marijauna, but now that it’s status in the eyes of the law and society is becoming more favorable, it’s increasingly studied as a sleep aid. When used under the guidance of a medical doctor-especially the CBD-rich strains,can help induce slumber as well.
As for foods that are bedtime no nos, they are alcohal and caffeine. People frequently reach for alcohol as a sleep aid. Indeed, alcohol does put us to sleep faster, but when its metabolized, a couple to a few hours into the sleep , it can lead to sleep disruptions–waking,sweating,restless dreams
As for caffeine, you know this already: It’s a reliable and potent stimulant often used by nightshift workers to stay alert through the night. If you need a good night rest, try not to drink any caffeine after 3 p.m.
Of course, its not just what you swallow that matters at bedtime. Make sure that your mattress is comfortableand supports your pressure points adequately- that your room is cool and dark, that you don’t use computers,tablets,or phone two hours before falling asleep (or that you are atleast using blue-light eliminating software or apps, and if possible, that you mindfully set aside sleep time as a comfortable ritual.
Just don’t turn for that comfort to snacks.
Agnes Green is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck Sleep. She holds two masters degrees in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. She sleeps most soundly after a kettlebell workout, on a medium-firm mattress, in Portland, Oregan