Sunday, June 5, 2016

Foods for good sleep

How do foods boost your sleep?
A diet rich in tryptophan can increase levels of serotonin, the precursor to melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness).Melatonin is the hormone that regulates circadian (daily) rhythms and governs the sleep-wake cycles. By activating certain types of chemical receptors in the brain, melatonin and tryptophan can help encourage sleep.

Choose protein foods that are rich in an amino acid called tryptophan. This helps boost the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Chicken and turkey, milk and dairy, nuts and seeds are all good choices. Combine these with rice, pasta or potatoes to help the body get the most benefits from tryptophan.
Foods that can boost your sleep are as follows:
Complex carbohydrates - Include whole-grain breads, cereals, and brown rice in your diet. These tend to increase serotonin levels and promote sleep.
Lean proteins - Lean proteins include low-fat cheese, chicken, turkey and fish. These foods are high in the amino acid tryptophan, which tends to increase serotonin levels.
Walnuts - Walnuts are a good source of tryptophan. Additionally, University of Texas researchers found that walnuts contain their own source of melatonin, which may help you fall asleep faster.
Almonds - Almonds are rich in magnesium, a mineral needed for quality sleep.
Milk products - Calcium found in cheese, yogurt, and milk helps the brain use the tryptophan found in dairy to manufacture sleep-triggering melatonin.
Lettuce - Lettuce contains lactucarium, which has sedative properties and affects the brain similarly to opium.
Tuna - Fish such as tuna, halibut, and salmon are high in vitamin B6, which your body needs to make melatonin and serotonin.
Cherry Juice - A glass of cherry juice could make you fall asleep faster, according to researchers from the Universities of Pennsylvania and Rochester. Cherries, particularly tart cherries, naturally boost levels of melatonin.
Honey - The natural sugar found in honey slightly raises insulin and allows tryptophan to enter the brain more easily. A spoonful before bed or mixed with chamomile tea could give you a more restful sleep.