After a hectic day, you would want to sleep well. To help you have a sound sleep and wake you up fresh, fight insomnia, you may consider adding some of these foods to your dinner menu or having them for a night time snack:
- Cheese: Rich in tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that’s needed to produce the neurotransmitter serotonin, which your body needs in order to feel relaxed and sleepy.
- Almonds: These crunchy nuts contain plenty of grog-inducing tryptophan. But that’s not all. Almonds are a good source of both calcium and magnesium, two minerals that experts say are important for achieving quality sleep.
- Salmon: If your body has adequate levels of the omega-3 fatty acid a sleep research suggests so that you will snooze better if your body has adequate level of the omega-3 fatty acid. Of course, other omega-3-rich fish like tuna, sardines, or mackerel can get the job done too.
- Whole-grain crackers: Carbs cause your body’s blood sugar levels to spike, which appears to play a role in regulating your body’s sleep-wake clock, suggests a recent Japanese study. So, pick a lighter option, like a handful of whole-grain crackers.
- Cherries: The only edible source of the sleep hormone melatonin, so consider having a bowlful for dessert. Option for thawed frozen cherries or a glass of tart cherry juice if they are not in season. Drinking two glasses daily helped people with insomnia sleep for 90 more minutes.
- Low-fat milk or a Turmeric Latte: The combo of high protein and low carbs can keep acid reflux at bay. Plus, it’s a good source of calcium, which helps keep your body’s melatonin production in check.
- Bananas: Rich in sleep-promoting carbohydrates and tryptophan, but that’s not all, the yellow fruits has almost everything going in them. Bananas also contain potassium and magnesium, which can help promote muscle relaxation.
Steering clear of the wrong edibles and drinkables is equally important. A few to avoid in the name of getting a better night’s rest:
- Coffee and other caffeine-rich stuff: Coffee can stay in your system for as long as six hours—which means that even a late afternoon cup could have an impact on your sleep. If you’re aiming to get to bed by 11, avoid coffee and other high-caffeine things like black tea, cola and dark chocolate after 5 pm.
- Spicy foods: When people who consumed hot condiments (like Tabasco sauce or mustard) before bed took longer to fall asleep and achieved less restful sleep compared to when they skip the stuff.
- Fatty foods: People who eat high-fat fare tend to be more sleep-deprived compared to those who eat less of the stuff. That could be because heavy, greasy food is harder on your digestive system, and is more likely to cause sleep-stealing stomach discomfort.
Make Sleep-Friendly Lifestyle Changes
You are exercising, getting plenty of exposure to natural light and are eating better. It all adds up to good stuff, sleep-wise, but there are another lifestyle changes you could be making to snooze more soundly.
A few to consider:
- Powering down in the evening: Make it a point to turn off your devices at least an hour before turning in. The blue light emitted from your smartphone, tablet, or computer is sort of like an electronic version of caffeine: It leaves your brain feeling revved up, rather than relaxed and ready for sleep.
- Showering at night instead of in the morning: The heat from a warm, pre-bedtime shower sends the message to your nervous system that it’s time to relax and slow down, encouraging you to feel sleepy. Which seems way more useful at night than first thing when you wake up, right? How about a lavender oil bath?
- Sniffing lavender before bed: You might not think so, but scent can have a powerful effect on your mood. Consider taking advantage of aromatherapy to fill your bedroom with aromas that are thought to ease anxiety and promote relaxation, like lavender, spikenard, vetiver, frankincense, myrrh, and clary sage.
To make your bedroom as pro-snooze as possible, consider making these changes:
- Some Vaastu tips: Remove clutter and avoid keeping sharp objects etc., below the bed as it may disturb your sleep pattern. While sleeping your head should be facing towards the east. Do not keep a mirror in front of the bed instead if you have one place it at the side of the bed. Mirrors absorb negative energy fast. Hence it is not recommended. You may keep it inside the cupboard also behind the door.
- Get some freshness: Do spring cleaning and wash your linens, bedsheets, comforters and keep your bedroom clean. You may light some aroma candles, play some soft music and introduce some fresh flowers into your room.
- A comfortable mattress: If your mattress is more than seven years old, it could be worn out and costing you a better night’s sleep. If you don’t have the best mattress or your bed shows signs of wear (like deep impressions) or you consistently wake up sore in the morning, it might be time to think about investing in a new sleep surface.
- Shameless plug: take a look at our selection of mattresses if you’re in the market!
- Avoid getting a TV in the bedroom instead read a good book before sleeping or try to do good conversations before sleeping or you may also listen to soft music. Think positive as your thoughts affect your dreams. Eat your meal at least 3 hours prior before you sleep. Do not lie down straight as soon as you eat. Avoid having caffeine at nights. Instead opt for herbal teas.
- Turn off the lights and adjust the temperature: Exposure to artificial light when you’re trying to sleep isn’t just annoying—it suppresses your body’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Use blackout curtains put black tape over your clock or stereo system or wear an eye mask if you must. Do adjust the temperature as per your body’s capacity.
- Turn down the noise: Unless you live alone (and sometimes, even then) it can be hard to ensure that your living space will be quiet when you try to go to sleep. Wear earplugs if you must or consider investing in a white noise machine to block distracting sounds.
- Pick comfortable bedding: Stick with bedding made from natural fibers like cotton, wool, silk, bamboo, and linen. Avoid synthetic fabrics like polyester that trap heat and moisture. After all no one wants to wake up in the middle of the night in a pool of their own sweat.
Here are some sleep-promoting herbal remedies that could make it easier for you to nod off:
- Many herbal teas, including chamomile, valerian root, and lavender, are marketed as sleep aids. Many of the herbs they contain work by increasing or modifying specific neurotransmitters that are involved in initiating sleep
- Chamomile tea: Simple, delicious, and effective. Chamomile is a friend with big benefits. Sweet and earthy, this tasty tea manages to lessen anxiety and lull you to sleep – so much so that it’s commonly thought of as a mild tranquilizer. The calming effect is probably thanks to an awesome antioxidant called apigenin, which chamomile is loaded with.
- Valerian: Like chamomile tea, folk practitioners have turned to the root of this flowering plant to easy anxiety and promote relaxation. This may be because it increases levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA. If there’s enough GABA hanging around, it can make you sleepy.
- Passionflower: Calming and floral, passionflower tea is made from the flowers, leaves, and stems of a plant called passiflora incarnata. One study found that participants who drank passionflower tea daily for just a week had way better sleep quality than those who didn’t drink it. Not too shabby!
- Lemongrass: Citrusy and lemony, this tea has plenty of benefits to brag about. It’s also a long-time folk remedy for inducing sleep, alleviating pain, and boosting immunity. Sip and be well.
- Kava: This earthy brew, which happens to be the national drink of fiji, is used all the time to help with sleep issues. A 2001 study found that it reduced stress and insomnia for all the participants who tried it.