A good diet is a key to preventing sleep problems, such as insomnia. According to specialists, some foods can help you achieve optimal rest. This type of food contains properties that act on the nervous system, and stimulate the release of chemicals, such as melatonin and serotonin, related to relaxation and quality of sleep. Here are some of them;
- Oatmeal; It is recommended to consume it two or three hours before sleeping. Helps relax the body through the production of melatonin.
- Almonds; they contain tryptophan and magnesium, two substances capable of inducing sleep.
- Honey; Product rich in glucose, which reduces the function of orexin, a substance related to wakefulness.
- Whole wheat bread; It has vitamins B1 and B6 – present in whole grains. The latter is involved in the production of brain substances responsible for regulating mood, such as serotonin.
- Cherries; Like oatmeal and walnuts, cherries are a natural source of melatonin.
- Herbal tea; Chamomile and lavender, as well as lemon and passionflower, have relaxing and sedative properties. They provide better rest and help you fall asleep.
- Dark chocolate; Stimulates the production of serotonin, a hormone that relaxes the body and mind.
- Banana; besides being rich in nutrients, it stimulates melatonin and serotonin. It also provides magnesium and potassium, muscle and nerve relaxants.
- Hot milk; It contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid for the production of melatonin and serotonin.
- Chicken; Like milk and almonds, it contains tryptophan
The Relationship Between Eating and Sleep Disorders
Chronic insomnia is one of the most common poor eating disorders, so eating healthy and getting a good night’s sleep go hand in hand. Dr. Diego García Borreguero, Medical Director of the International Sleep Institute, assures that the lack of absorption of magnesium, vitamin B complex, calcium, zinc, copper, and iron in the daily diet is related to sleep disorders.
To Enjoy Quality Sleep It Is Important To Do The Following:
Eat dinner between 1 and 2 hours before going to bed to prevent heavy digestion that does not let us sleep.
Avoid drinking coffee, chocolate, or tobacco before sleeping.
Do not consume acidic foods at night.
Avoid large meals and alcohol consumption.
Quality sleep is part of the guarantee of health because through this physiological function the body regenerates itself, the proper functioning of the immune and hormonal systems is stimulated.
What Vitamins Can We Take To Sleep Better?
Dr. García Borreguero points out that Vitamin C is associated with insomnia because the lack of this vitamin causes an excess of histamine, “a stimulating substance that produces wakefulness.” In turn, the neurologist explains that vitamin C favors the absorption of iron, and if “iron levels decrease in the body, it is possible that it favors restless legs syndrome.”
Low levels of Magnesium can also cause insomnia, which is why Dr. García Borreguero suggests consuming it in a ratio of 1: 2 in relation to calcium. In the diet, magnesium is found in nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
The low consumption of Zinc which we can obtain with the consumption of meat, fish, eggs, whole grains, and legumes is also related to nocturnal awakenings.
The excessive contribution of aluminum, which is a mineral that is included in antacids, is associated with poor quality of sleep.
Regulated consumption under the indication of the vitamin B complex, niacin, or vitamin B3, can improve insomnia and be more useful in patients with early awakenings. Vitamin B12 is involved in the regulation of the sleep-wake rhythm and may be useful for people with a changed sleep rhythm, during ‘jet lag’ or even in some cases of insomnia in the elderly.
Foods That Promote Deep Sleep
To sleep better it is important to incorporate bananas, dairy products, and whole grains such as rice, oats, wheat, or corn at dinner, which are a source of tryptophan, which is essential for the production of serotonin. Food sources of omega 3 collaborate by reducing symptoms of anxiety and sleep disorders.
Pineapple contains active compounds that stimulate serotonin production and calm anxiety. If pineapple is taken at night, the brain converts tryptophan into melatonin, the sleep hormone, which is why its consumption is associated with better rest. It also supports digestion.
Finally, Diego García Borreguero adds that “it has been shown that carbohydrates have an important effect on the amount of slow-wave sleep and REM sleep and that a diet rich in carbohydrates produces more drowsiness than a diet rich in protein.”