7 Foods for Insomnia

Eight hours of sleep to be healthy? It isn’t always easy.

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Eating breakfast first thing in the morning is really important because it helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can create an influx of adrenaline that can keep you awake. Avoiding caffeine and nicotine help as well because using them can make you hyper or nervous. They also trigger the production of adrenaline. Adrenaline circulating in your body can speed up your heart rate, increase muscle tension, stop digestion, and encourage shallow breathing. All things that can create fatigue but won’t help you sleep because of the adrenaline still in your body. Eating small frequent meals can also help prevent your blood sugar from dropping. When your blood sugar level drops it signals a stress which in turn signals a shot of adrenaline to surge into your body to give you that fight or flight response. With all that adrenaline coursing through your body it will be difficult to sleep.

Serotonin, melatonin, and tryptophan all help with sleep. Many foods contain these ingredients or help your body make them. If you want to sleep better at night try adding these foods later in the day to help.

Dried Tart Cherries Tart cherries not only provide the requisite serotonin-boosting carbs, it’s also one of a few food sources of melatonin, which has been found to promote better sleep and lessen the effects of jet lag (PDF). Plus, tart cherries are packed with age-fighting antioxidants that help with arthritis, gout, and pain. To help with sleep tart Montmorency cherries should be eaten 1 hour before bed time to give the melatonin a chance to work.

Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas) These beans are rich in vitamin B6, which your body uses to produce serenity-boosting serotonin.

Honey A rise in blood sugar can reduce the production of orexin in the brain. Orexin is a recently discovered neurotransmitter that’s been linked to wakefulness

Chamomile Tea Has a calming effect on the body.

Lavender is well-known for helping relaxation. Using the aromatherapy oil can help relaxation and help with sleep. Many people like to use a diffuser with lavender to help with sleep.

Bananas Potassium and magnesium are natural muscle relaxants, bananas are a good source of both. They also contain the amino acid L-tryptophan, which gets converted to 5-HTP in the brain which in turn is converted to serotonin and melatonin.

Warm milk contains the amino acid L-tryptophan, which turns to 5-HTP and releases relaxing serotonin. It’s also high in calcium, which promotes sleep and relaxation.

Nonfat Popcorn Carbohydrates in nonfat popcorn help bring the amino acid tryptophan into your brain, where it’s used to make a sleep-inducing neurotransmitter called serotonin.

Add these foods to your lifestyle and sleep like a baby!

 

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