Foods to help you sleep

 

Although research is limited when it comes to the foods that help or hinder sleep, evidence does suggest that certain foods consumed at bedtime can promote sleep, while others will not.

Although research is limited when it comes to the foods that help or hinder sleep, evidence does suggest that certain foods consumed at bedtime can promote sleep, while others will not.

by Joanne Henning Tedesco —

Today, we know that sleep is essential for good health, but many people are complaining of lack of sleep. Although research is limited when it comes to the foods that help or hinder sleep, evidence does suggest that certain foods consumed at bedtime can promote sleep, while others will not.

Some of the foods that hinder sleep include wine, coffee, dark chocolate and other foods that contain caffeine (a central nervous stimulant), caffeinated drinks, spices, high-fat content foods and any type of protein.

The following foods can help with sleep:

Bananas — Bananas help promote sleep because they contain the natural muscle relaxants magnesium and potassium, as well as carbohydrates, which will also help make you sleepy.

Cereal — Healthy complex carbohydrates are good for sleep, including quinoa, barley and buckwheat.

Cherries — They are one of the few natural foods containing melatonin, the chemical that helps control the body’s internal clock.

Milk — Many of us have childhood memories of a glass of warm milk to help us fall asleep. The amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to the brain chemical serotonin, is found in milk.

Sweet potato — Sweet potatoes are a sleeper’s dream. Not only do they provide sleep-promoting complex carbohydrates, they also contain potassium, a muscle-relaxant.

Turkey — Like milk, turkey contains tryptophan, a chemical that can make people sleepy after eating.

Valerian tea — The valerian plant root has been shown to promote sleep and improve sleep quality. Valerian tea, along with chamomile, motherwort and catnip brews, none of which contain caffeine, will help make you drowsy.

 

Joanne Henning Tedesco is editor of AzNetNews.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 33, Number 1, February/March 2014.

 

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