Many people, tired after a day of work, have difficulty falling asleep, restlessly sleeping or waking up and then cannot fall asleep again. For a large part of the population, poor sleep is a big problem. Up to 40% of adults suffer from insomnia sporadically during the year. Poor sleep quality has been linked to heart disease, decreased performance, depression, and injury. There are many tips on how to normalize the synthesis of “sleepy” hormones and improve the quality of sleep. A significant role is played by the products that are consumed by patients at dinner. Some fruits or vegetables, essential amino acids in meals, tea or other drinks can help you sleep better and sounder.
“Sleepy” hormones: how they work
Sleep mechanisms involve neuroendocrine mechanisms. In other words, in order for a person to fall asleep peacefully, some hormones in his body (mainly stress hormones) must decrease and the level of others, especially melatonin, must increase. There are many time-tested recipes that affect metabolic processes and hormone synthesis. For example, taking warm milk, sometimes with honey, before going to bed helps you fall asleep faster and more calmly. This is because the calcium in milk increases the levels of melatonin, a hormone closely associated with preparing for sleep and falling asleep. If stimulated to increase the concentration of melatonin in the blood, this can help regulate sleep-wake cycles (the so-called circadian rhythm).
Milk and healthy sleep
Calcium also works in close association with the amino acid tryptophan from dairy products, which is needed to increase the production of sleep hormones, especially melatonin. Another benefit of calcium is that it helps to relax the muscles during sleep. Milk is just one source of calcium and amino acids. There are other foods that can help improve sleep. Many of these products complement each other, which means it’s worth combining them whenever possible to combat insomnia.
Nuts are a source of magnesium
Magnesium is one of the sleepy minerals found in almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and cashews. People with low magnesium levels often have trouble sleeping, so eating a small amount of almonds or sesame seeds will help you sleep better. In addition, in a recent study, almond extract was found to have significant sedative and hypnotic effects, making it suitable for combination therapy in the treatment of insomnia.
Cashew nuts and cashew butter are equally useful for normalizing sleep. 50 g of cashew nuts contain about 140 mg of magnesium (almost half of the daily requirement). It is useful to add nuts to porridge or salad, dessert with fruit. This will enhance the positive effect on the body.
Drinks for insomnia
Soothing chamomile tea is a favorite drink for many people whose sleep is disturbed by stress or exertion. Chamomile tea can increase levels of glycine, an amino acid that has mild sedative properties that can relax muscles and calm nerves. The effect is enhanced by adding lavender to this tea.
Tea with passion fruit flowers an hour before going to bed will help you relax, calm down and sleep better. Australian researchers have found that passion fruit flowers contain the alkaloid harmaline, which has a calming effect on the nervous system and stimulates melatonin synthesis.
To normalize sleep, leafy greens and vegetables are useful. Kale, mustard greens, beet greens, and spinach are excellent sources of calcium, which works with the amino acid tryptophan to synthesize melatonin. Other vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, green peas, and beans contain magnesium. It is useful to use them daily at dinner to tune in to a more healthy sleep. Useful vegetables are steamed or raw, cut into a salad and seasoned with olive oil.
Fruits that fight insomnia
In the fight against insomnia, some fruits, such as bananas, can help. You can eat them in any form — fresh, dried, in the form of mashed potatoes or desserts, cocktails. These fruits are rich in magnesium and potassium, both of which contribute to better sleep.
No less useful and pineapple. This tropical fruit is one of the few foods that contains amino acids that stimulate melatonin synthesis. In second place in terms of activity are fruits such as oranges and bananas, they also have the ability to stimulate the synthesis of melatonin. Scientists have shown that eating pineapple can significantly increase plasma melatonin concentration and thus improve sleep.
Cherries and cherry juice also help improve sleep by increasing melatonin levels. Studies show that men and women who consumed cherry juice had higher melatonin levels than the control group.
Useful amino acids that normalize sleep
A number of products supply the body with amino acids that help normalize sleep. For example, turkey meat is high in tryptophan, an amino acid that is then metabolized into serotonin and melatonin, the two main chemicals responsible for sleep.
Walnuts are an excellent source of the amino acid tryptophan, which facilitates the production of melatonin and serotonin, the “hormone of happiness and pleasure.”
Chickpeas (chickpeas) are also rich in tryptophan, and a serving of this product will help you fall asleep faster, especially when paired with vegetables that contain magnesium.
Oatmeal is a versatile dish that contains good carbohydrates to help you feel full and relax. If it is oatmeal with milk and fruits, for example, bananas, this will be an excellent natural remedy for combating insomnia due to the combined action of potassium, magnesium and calcium.
It is important to understand that food will not be able to cure severe and chronic insomnia associated with various diseases. They can help those people who suffer from episodic sleep disorders due to disruption of the regimen and stress. For them, healthy and tasty foods rich in “sleepy” components will help in the fight for quality sleep, along with a warm bath, a walk in the fresh air and other activities.