We’ve all experienced those nights of tossing and turning, praying to fall asleep before our alarm goes off the next morning.
Luckily there are things you can do to improve your chances of falling asleep soon after climbing into bed. In recent years, health experts have been stressing how sleep along with good food choices, stress management, physical activity and avoiding carcinogen substances are ingredients to a healthy lifestyle.
People who are sleep-deprived tend to shift towards foods which are easily platable such as simple sugars and heavy-hitting carbohydrates found in junk food. As the number of hours between sleep increases, the brain looks for larger sources of energy in order to keep itself awake.
There are a number of foods that have been found to encourage falling asleep as well as improve the quality of your slumber.
Our body naturally produces hormones and one of them is Melatonin, which is known as the ‘sleep hormone’. When the sun goes down, this hormone becomes more active as a part of our circadian rhythms. The production of Melatonin is directly related to an essential amino acid, Tryptophan, which can only be attained via dietary sources.
A group of Japanese researchers displayed that a combination of a breakfast rich in this amino acid, along with exposure to bright light during the day, results in higher concentrations of melatonin in the body during nighttime.
Foods rich in Tryptophan are typically those high in protein, such as red meat, poultry, eggs, and fish. Those who are vegetarian or vegan can find high levels of protein in foods like lentils, cashews, nuts, seeds, tofu, and beans.
Chamomile tea has also been found to contain Tryptophan and those who it before they hit the sack, have been estimated to fall asleep 15 minutes faster than someone who doesn’t. It takes about an hour for tryptophan to work its magic on your melatonin, so aim to eat your meal at least an hour before bedtime.