Getting enough sleep is very important for your health.
Many health problems are associated with a lack of sleep. Sleeping five hours or less a night increases the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Difficulty falling asleep is a very frustrating experience, which is caused by anxiety and stress. The statistics reveal that almost 60% of American population is experiencing insomnia.
Sleep, besides physical activity and balanced diet, is the key element to a healthy lifestyle. Before you grab a sleeping pill, consider making some changes in your diet.
Have a look at the following list of foods which help you fall asleep faster, improve your sleep quality, and prevent groggy morning feeling. Eat them two hours before you go to sleep.
Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce stress levels and anxiety and have a positive effect on your nervous system. Also, salmon is a rich source of vitamin B6 which promotes the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone which regulates your sleep-wake cycle. According to a study, people who regularly consume salmon are less likely to experience vitamin D deficiency. If your body absorbs enough vitamin D you will have restful sleep.
Eat a banana before you go to sleep. People who are diagnosed with diabetes should eat half a banana. This fruit is a rich source of potassium and magnesium which regulate your blood sugar levels, alleviate muscle cramping, and reduce anxiety. Also, bananas are a rich source of tryptophan, an amino-acid which prevents insomnia.
Calcium deficiency is also one of the reasons for experiencing sleep disorders. Yogurt is a rich source of calcium, so you should include it in your daily diet. Consuming yogurt is a good choice before you go to sleep. Also, green leafy vegetables are high in calcium.
Chamomile tea is a rich source of flavonoids which have a relaxing effect on your muscles and nervous system. It soothes your mind and emotions. Valerian, mint, and lavender teas also have soothing properties with a similar effect. Black and green tea are not a good choice, as they contain caffeine which affects your sleep.
Cocoa has amazing health benefits. Believe it or not, cocoa is known as a natural sedative. It is a rich source of magnesium, which plays an important role in keeping your nervous system healthy. Additionally, cocoa is a rich source of antioxidants which prevent oxidative stress.
Bulgur and barley are high in magnesium and amino acids. Magnesium intake is very important for your physical and mental health. On the other hand, magnesium deficiency affects your bodily functions. This rich-fiber food improves your sleep quality.
Cherries have a variety of health benefits. Fresh cherry juice is a natural source of melatonin. You can also consume dried or fresh cherries before your meals to increase your energy levels. Tart cherries help you sleep better and wake up fresh.