Did you know that nutrition plays a major role in getting quality sleep? Eating the right foods can help you achieve deep, restful slumber, while eating the wrong foods can disrupt your sleep and make it difficult to drift off. So if you are struggling with falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night, take a closer look at your diet and see if making some changes could help you get better sleep.
What You Should Eat
There are certain foods that contain elements that can help promote healthy sleep. For instance, tryptophan is an amino acid found in certain proteins like poultry and dairy products. It helps create serotonin which is then converted into melatonin, an important hormone for regulating our circadian rhythm and promoting good sleep. Foods containing magnesium can also be helpful as this mineral helps relax your muscles so you can drift off more easily. Magnesium is found in nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and green leafy vegetables.
Another nutrient that encourages healthy sleep is vitamin B6. This vitamin helps synthesize tryptophan which leads to increased levels of serotonin in the brain. Vitamin B6 is present in many foods but especially fortified cereals, potatoes and other starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and squash, bananas, milk, yogurt, eggs and fish like tuna or salmon.
What You Should Avoid
In addition to knowing what foods you should eat to get better quality sleep it’s also important to know which ones to avoid before bedtime. Caffeine is perhaps one of the most obvious culprits when it comes to interfering with a good night’s rest but surprisingly many people don’t realize that caffeine can stay active in your system for up to 8 hours after consumption! So it’s best to avoid coffee or caffeinated beverages late in the afternoon or evening if possible. Alcohol should also be avoided before bed as although it may initially make you feel sleepy it has been shown to disrupt REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep which is important for overall recovery and wellbeing during restful slumber.
If you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night chances are it could have something to do with your diet! Eating certain foods rich in tryptophan such as poultry or dairy products can increase serotonin levels enabling us to drift off more easily at night. Other nutrients such as magnesium and vitamin B6 have also been associated with improved sleep quality so adding these nutrients into your diet through whole grains, legumes, nuts/seeds or fruits/vegetables may provide valuable benefits for achieving deep restful slumber each night! However it’s also important to avoid substances like caffeine or alcohol before bedtime as these have been known to interfere with our ability to get quality sleep! By making small dietary changes we can significantly improve our ability not just fall asleep but stay asleep throughout the night!
Northeast Missouri Health Council, Partners for a lifetime of health
Medical, Dental, and Behavioral Clinics in Kirksville, Missouri, Macon, Missouri, Milan, Missouri, and Kahoka, Missouri. Visit our website to find the nearest clinic to you. www.nemohealthcouncil.com