Although it is often overlooked, sleep is a fundamental requirement for every human being and adequate good quality sleep is absolutely essential for good health. It has become clear in recent decades that getting adequate sleep can lower the risk of various chronic illnesses, as well as degenerative brain disease, and it also strengthens immunity. To reap the benefits of sleep, most individuals are advised to get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Of course, it’s not just the quantity that matters and you should get uninterrupted quality sleep.
Unfortunately, there are many circumstances in modern life that interfere with our ability to fall asleep or get a good night’s rest. Some of these impediments include high stress levels, bad working hours, household chores and family responsibilities, illnesses, and other unforeseen challenges that some of us face from time to time. Many of these factors are beyond your control, but that doesn’t mean that you are powerless. You can make small changes to your diet and lifestyle to improve sleep quality. A good place to begin would be by including specific types of food for good sleep in your daily diet.
Here is a list of recipes, featuring a variety of sleep inducing foods.
1. WARM BANANA MILK
Banana is a rich source of potassium and magnesium which together works to relax muscles. Whereas, a warm glass of milk aids your sleepless nights because of its daily dose of tryptophan and calcium.
Bananas crushed with milk, a combination to be sipped down before going to bed.
2. COTTAGE CHEESE TOPPED WITH CHERRIES
Eating chunk of cottage cheese at night leads to sustained release of amino acids into the blood and muscles during the night which makes it easy to sleep with any abrupt. For sweetness, topped with tart cherries is the best thing one could do as cherries are one of the few natural sources of melatonin, which is responsible for the regulation of the body’s internal clock and sleep-wake cycle.
3. PEANUT BUTTER TOAST
A spread of peanut butter on toast is the best bedtime snack to go for as the protein it contains helps in building blocks of tryptophan that regulates sleepiness. A quick bite of peanut butter toast will help you doze off faster.
4. OAT CRACKERS WITH ALMOND BUTTER DIP
Bake the grind of oats kneaded in oil to give a shape of sticks or biscuits. After baking it for 20 minutes at 180 degree, munch on these with a dip of almond butter or peanut butter. Whole grains and nuts are a good choice to opt for a quick bite before bedtime. Complex carbs increases serotonin levels and reduces chances of impaired sleeps.
5. Basket of Nuts’
Nuts offers bounty of benefits and is good source of heart-healthy fats. But, almonds are an excellent source of magnesium, which helps in improving sleep quality. While, walnuts contain melatonin which is a hormone that helps in regulating sleep cycle.
Other Tips to Get Better Sleep
In addition to modifying your diet to include more sleep inducing foods that help you sleep, it would also be a good idea to adopt some other changes to your lifestyle.
Follow a Disciplined Sleep Schedule
Make it a point to get ready for bed and aim to sleep at a specific time every day, including your weekends as far as possible. Maintaining this consistency helps to reinforce the sleep wake cycle, improving sleep duration and quality.
Block Out the Light
Light from artificial devices, especially from digital screens and led switches can suppress melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. To get better quality sleep, switch off all devices a couple of hours before bedtime and make sure that your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet.
Avoid Napping in the Day
Although power naps can be helpful, it’s best to avoid long daytime naps as this can impair your ability to fall asleep at night. If you’re taking a short nap that’s under 30 minutes, it would also be advisable to do so earlier in the day and not in the evening.
Instead of relying solely on foods for sleep, consider adding some exercise to your daily routine too. Regular physical activity is known to lower stress levels and improve sleep quality. Just make sure that if you’re indulging in high or moderate intensity activity, it’s best to exercise in the morning.
Stress and anxiety are known to increase the risk of insomnia and sleep disturbances, making it imperative to tackle the problem. Stress reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, and other activities that you find pleasurable can help to release stress and induce sleep.
So peeps, skip counting sheep and start counting on these fruits and vegetables to help you sleep. At the same time, don’t forget to make other changes that are needed for better quality sleep.