Foods that promise you a good night's sleep
JEDDAH. KAZINFORM You've tried everything, counted sheep, drunk herbal teas and even taken sleeping pills but nothing has helped you with your insomnia. Doctors and specialists say most insomnia cases are caused by stress and excessive use of caffeine.
"Sleep is essential for both mental and physical health. Researches are constantly looking for new and developed ways to help people sleep the average 6 to 8 hours a night but this seems like hard work," said Saudi physician Dr. Taris Rashid. "Some people have trouble sleeping while others cannot stay asleep which is really dangerous because sleep is a major solution for many problems. It strengthens and stabilizes your immune system, sharpens your brain, trims your waistline, makes your skin look healthy and youthful and lowers the risk of high blood pressure and heart diseases," he added.
According to Dr. Rashid, Some foods are known to be helpful in inducing sleep and adding them in your daily meals can stimulate your brain into a good night's sleep. "Eat bad foods, sleep badly" says a new study from the University of Pennsylvania. It found that people who reported the healthiest sleep patterns also had the most varied diets. "These key nutrients have been shown to play a role in regulating sleep, so aim to eat them often for a sounder slumber," he said, Arab News reports.
Below is a list provided by Dr. Rashid includes the foods that will give you a good night's sleep.
Fish: Most fish such as salmon, halibut and tuna are full of vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness).
Bananas: They are an excellent source of magnesium, Vitamin B6 and potassium, which help to relax overstressed muscles. They also contain tryptophan, which convert to serotonin and melatonin, the brain's key calming hormones.
Walnuts: They are a great source of tryptophan, which is a sleep enchanting amino acid that helps make serotonin and melatonin, the body clock hormone that sets your sleep-wake cycle. They are also a course of melatonin, which may help you fall asleep faster.
Cereal: A ball of low sugar whole grain cereal before going to bed is a great complex carbohydrate-rich foods increase the availability of tryptophan in the bloodstream, increasing sleep-inducing effects.
Chamomile Tea: Drinking a cup of chamomile tea will help you sleep. It is associated with an increase of glycine, a chemical that relaxes nerves and muscles and acts like a mild sedative.
Passion fruit tea: Drinking it one hour before going to bed will help you sleep more soundly. The Harman Alkaloids found in the flower acts on your nervous system to make you ready to sleep.
Milk: A cup of warm milk is filled with Calcium that is known to be effective in stress reduction and stabilization of nerve fibers, including those in the brain.
Honey: It seems like honey is a remedy for everything because it includes natural sugar that slightly raises insulin and allows tryptophan to enter the brain easily. A spoon before you go to bed mixed with herbal tea will give you a restful sleep.
Hummus: The Arabic dish is chickpeas based, which are a great source of tryptophan and vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin that helps you sleep better. Eat with whole grain crackers to help it reach the brain easier.
Almonds: They contain magnesium, which promotes both sleep and muscle relaxation. They also supply your body with proteins that can help maintain a stable blood sugar level while sleeping.
Watermelon: It contains Lycopene, which helps the body to relax stimulates the brain for good sleep. Lycopene is also found in grapefruit, tomatoes and papaya.
Foods rich in carbohydrates: According to a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating easily digested carbs (such as cereal, rice, potatoes or white bread) four hours before bedtime led people to fall asleep faster.
Besides these, there are several behaviors that you should follow to have a good night's sleep according to Dr. Rashid. "If you find yourself tired, take a hot bath and enjoy a 20 minute relaxing session as the hot water will relax your muscles and your brain," he said. "Always make sure to turn off the lights or use dim lights to help the flow of melatonin, the sleep inducing hormone. Invest in a comfortable bed with fluffy pillows. It will relax your body and make you fall asleep faster. Also sleep in loose-fitting comfortable clothes and wear socks because sometimes cold feet can wake you up at night," he added.
Eating a heavy meal before going to sleep might keep you up all night. "Have your dinner at least two hours before going to bed; this will give you time to digest. Also never have coffee or tea immediately after dinner. Drink your herbal tea one hour before going to bed," said Rashid. "Try adding any of the foods to your dinner that help you sleep and repeat every day. Remember, no dessert because foods with high fat and sugar will give you energy and will keep you up," he added.