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Eat Right to Sleep Right

  • 02 March 2016
  • By Aditya venkat

It is often said for a balanced lifestyle we need to pay attention to healthy sleep and healthy eating habits as they are inter linked in more ways than one. A Sunday Sleep survey 2015 showed how eating at least two hours before bed time ensures we don’t sleep on a full stomach and have a restless night. There are in fact diet experts who’d go to the extent of saying the last meal should be had before darkness falls as digestion slows post dusk.

As far as alcohol goes, you might be tempted to have a tipple to help you rest better but that is a myth. While alcohol might put you off to sleep, in the end you'll sleep less soundly and wake up more tired. Alcohol and other depressants suppress a phase of sleeping called REM (rapid eye movement) during which most of the dreaming occurs. Less REM is associated with more night awakenings and restless sleep. One glass of wine with dinner probably won't hurt, but avoid drinking any alcohol within two hours of bedtime.

Also, it works both ways, if you are sleep deprived you will eat wrong and the bad diet will in turn make you fat and unhealthy and reduce the overall quality of life.

Then there are foods with essential nutrients that if incorporated into the diet help enable good quality sleep as improve melatonin content and in turn boost well being.

Some of the Foods good for Sleep include:

Fish: Most fish—and especially salmon, halibut and tuna—boast vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin.

Bananas: Bananas, well-known for being rich in potassium, are also a good source of Vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin .Banana, is also a natural muscle relaxant.

Cherries: Cherries contain melatonin and help sleep-wake cycle. It can be had in the form of juice.

Jasmine Rice: If had four hours before sleep time, it is supposed to induce good sleep. The high glycemic property is supposed to make it better suited for sleep as compared to other rice. lt boosts the production of tryptophan and serotonin in the blood, thus encouraging sleep.

Yogurt: Dairy products like yogurt and milk boast healthy doses of calcium—and there’s research that suggests being calcium-deficient may make it difficult to fall asleep.

Almonds: Almonds are a good source of magnesium, which promotes both sleep and muscle relaxation. If the body’s magnesium levels are too low, it is harder to stay asleep. Plus, almonds supply enough protein to help stabilize the blood sugar level while sleeping. Just a handful a day should be enough.

Kale: Green leafy vegetables, such as kale and collards, are also known to boost calcium and aide sleep.

Chickpeas: Chickpeas boast vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin.

Cereal: It can be had in the morning and no harm having a small bowl last thing before bed either, especially if it's a low-sugar, whole-grain cereal. Not only is it a healthy snack (make sure you top it with milk to give your body the protein it needs), but can help sleep. It can increase tryptophan in the bloodstream, increasing the sleep-inducing effect.


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