What you eat affects your body functions and health. Research shows that the food you eat plays a significant role in how you sleep. Studies show that chicken, milk, rice, cherries are ideal for sleep.
On the other hand, curry, fatty meat, caffeine, and alcohol will have a negative impact. As such, some experts recommend not eating after 6 p.m. because the late meals hamper getting a restful night’s sleep.
Experts also recommend making sure your bedroom is comfortable, cool, and dark. Invest in new bedding, a new mattress from Mattress Warehouse, and some black-out curtains.
Sleep in a natural body function, and it is supported by three compounds: tryptophan, serotonin, and melatonin. You can find these chemicals in some of the foods that you eat. Below is how you can include them in your sleep diet.
Protein contains amino acids, and these amino acids include tryptophan. However, it is one of the rarest types of amino acids. But you can find it in sunflower seeds, beans, chicken, pumpkin seeds, turkey, and peanuts. It can also be found in milk but in small amounts. When you consume tryptophan and it reaches your brain, the brain converts it into serotonin.
Serotonin may be a familiar compound found in some sleep medications, such as Prozac. It is the chemical relays messages between neurons and cells. If serotonin levels are low, then you start feeling depressed, anxious and may develop a craving for carbohydrates. The body starts to convert serotonin into melatonin, a metabolic change that takes place at night. Melatonin is the main compound in the body that induces sleep.
The body depends on melatonin for it to regulate its circadian rhythm, which is the sleep-wake circle. Sleeping in a dark setting is one of the most effective ways of ensuring that your melatonin levels are optimal. Lights suppress the production of this hormone, and this affects sleeping as well as other areas of your health.
Consider the following tips; they will help you make the most of your dietary plans so that you can sleep better:
- You can optimize your tryptophan levels by combines your protein foods with carbohydrates that have a low to medium glycaemic index.
- Do not consume caffeine, tobacco or other stimulants.
- Avoid the use of alcohol, sleeping pills, and other sedative products that help you fall asleep. They are only short-term solutions and tend to have long-term counterproductive effects.
- Avoid buying melatonin supplements, especially online. You can get the supplement in the UK under a doctor’s prescription. However, the use of melatonin supplements can be disruptive to the natural production of this hormone. It can potentially suppress your body’s ability to generate melatonin naturally.
- If you are on sleep medication, do not go cold turkey to come off them. The ideal way to go about it is to consult your doctor to come up with an appropriate strategy for slowly weaning off from the use of these drugs.
- A diet change may prove beneficial; however, it will take time. But you can track your progress by keeping a sleep diary. Do not stop suddenly because you have not seen any significant improvements. In as much as sleep is a natural function, it also does require a bit of practice for you to enjoy a sound, restful sleep.