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Everyone knows that drinking a cup of coffee before bed can leave you tossing and turning for hours. Eating the right food not only gives the body the right kind of nutrition, it also affects the quality of your sleep. While some foods are sleep deprivers, others are sleep enhancers. Here are a few such types of food that you can include in your diet to improve your sleep.
- Cherries: Cherries are rich sources of melatonin. This is the chemical responsible for controlling the body’s internal clock. A serving of tart cherries in their raw, whole form or a glass of cherry juice(without added sugars) can improve sleep quality and help treat chronic insomnia. It can also be used to fight jet lag.
- Walnuts: These nuts are rich sources of an amino acid known as trytophan. Trytophan boosts serotonin and melatonin production thus regulating the body’s sleep-wake cycle. This can help you fall asleep faster and avoid tossing and turning.
- Milk: A glass of warm milk is a well known home remedy for insomnia. Milk or any form of dairy is rich in tryptophan. As mentioned above, this helps people fall asleep faster by regularizing their circadian rhythm. Additionally, calcium also helps regulate muscle movements and calms the body by fighting stress and stabilizing nerve fibers. If you don’t like the thought of plain milk, you could try other forms of dairy like cheese and yogurt.
- Rice: Jasmine rice and other forms of white rice have a high glycemic index. This means that the body digests rice slowly and hence releases glucose produced during digestion very gradually into the body. This helps cut down the time it takes to fall asleep. A gradual absorption of glucose in the body also prevents a ‘sugar high’ and its accompanying crash. This helps prevent waking up in the middle of the night and ensures that you sleep through the night comfortably.
- Bananas: Bananas are great not only for your overall health but also for your sleep cycle. Bananas are rich sources of magnesium and potassium. These are natural muscle relaxants that promote sleep. They also help fight sleep disorders such as restless leg syndrome and muscle cramps to give you a more restful sleep. Bananas are also rich in carbohydrates that are slow to digest and hence make people fall asleep faster. Combining bananas and milk is a sure shot way of falling asleep faster. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.