When it comes to getting a good nights shut-eye, for some people it takes much more than just hitting the sack. For some people, those with stressful jobs, or money or health problems, getting a full night’s sleep once a week is a blessing.
They’ve tried everything, and willing to try anything, just to get what most of us takes for granted; sleep.
If you find yourself having difficulty in getting to sleep, multiple triggers may be at fault. If you’ve tried eliminating possible deterrents, such as noise and light, but still have a hard time getting shut-eye, there’s more you can do yet. Many people overlook the aspect of what they had/ should have for dinner, and are serving themselves a big injustice. Let us consider some of the night-time foods you could use to get some well deserved rest.
Most people would swear by milk for its ability to help them head off to dreamland, but why does it work? Well, for one milk is rich in an amino acid called tryptophan, which is known for its ability to help promote the relaxation inducing hormone serotonin. Also, as an added bonus, the calcium in milk helps tryptophan to be made into everybody’s sleep buddy, melatonin. The truth is, however, there is a mixed jury in having milk before bed. On the other side, it is claimed that the protein content in milk will boost alertness, and coupled with the presence of fat in it, will delay your digestion even more probably causing you to stay awake while it is being digested. Try some yourself, and decide on this one.
Sure you want sleep, but won’t eating carbohydrates at night make you fat? Not necessarily, owing to two facts. For one, oatmeal is a slow digesting carbohydrate, one that will be released slowly throughout the night. This means you won’t possibly be waking up in the middle of the night thanks to low blood sugar. Secondly, oatmeal is another food that triggers a serotonin surge in the body. What this translates to is all-round better sleep for you.
Peanut Butter or Peanuts
Another food that has been proven to help you sleep better is peanut butter or having peanuts themselves. They are said to be rich in niacin, which is another nutrient that promotes serotonin release. Be wary, however, since these are moderately dense in calories and fat, so if you find it not helping avoid them. Coupled with two slices of whole wheat bread, you have a powerful snack to guide you into sleep.
Bell Peppers (Red)
Nothing is particularly special about the bell pepper, since the reason it helps you sleep is its vitamin c content. Sure, you can get your vitamin c from an array of sources, but what does make it unique is its content per calorie. It is the single best source of vitamin c/ calorie, so given that you don’t want to be consuming oranges loaded with fast digesting carbohydrates before bed, it makes sense. Vitamin C blunts cortisol “The Stress Hormone” activity. Cortisol is a villain that may be preventing your sleep.
There are many other foods that could possibly improve your quality of sleep by adding them on. What’s more alarming, however, is the fact that many people do not know what to avoid before bed. The most common sleep offenders are:
High Fat and High Fast Digesting Carbohydrate Meals
The first thing that comes to mind from this combination would be a double whopper and a serving of fries. Not only is the fat content in that burger out of this world, but the carbohydrates will also have you brimming with energy for a few hours more. The fat even slows down digestion, so better off having this at lunch if you must have it at all.
Think coffee is the only thing with caffeine? Think again, your favorite soda that you sip before bed more likely than not has quite a few milligrams, or even your relaxing tea blend. Either opt for non caffeinated versions of either, or do without.
High Protein Meals
Proteins, like fats, require immense digestive processes before they can be absorbed into the blood. This delayed transit (digestion) time will most likely have you awake. Eat a smaller portion of steak or your favourite animal, and better off having it earlier in the evening.
Alcohol is another confused night cap. Indeed, part of its actions helps you get to sleep easier, but it also makes you more likely to awake multiple times in the night, and worse with a headache. So considering that, are you willing to take some just to get to sleep to be awoken just a few hours after? I think not.
Apply a few of these changes, and see the difference that occurs, Good Night!
Category: Natural Sleep Aids