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Boost Your Sleep Quality with These Expert-Recommended Seven Superfoods

Can you enhance your sleep quality simply by altering your diet? According to experts, the answer is affirmative. Gabi Zaromskyte, a registered nutritionist, explains that the relationship between diet and sleep is a two-way street. Our food choices affect our sleep, while the quality and duration of sleep can influence our dietary preferences. Research has increasingly shown the significant impact of dietary choices on cognitive function, mood, and overall physical and mental health.

Founder of Honestly Nutrition, Zaromskyte highlights that certain dietary patterns and specific nutrients have been found to influence the sleep-wake cycle, sleep latency (the time taken to fall asleep), and sleep architecture (the different stages of sleep). Moreover, the quality and timing of our food and beverage intake can affect the production of sleep-regulating hormones such as melatonin, which plays a critical role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle.

However, it's important to note, as Dr. Maja Schaedel, co-founder of The Good Sleep Clinic points out, that having higher levels of melatonin, even from foods rich in melatonin, does not necessarily result in falling asleep quicker. If you struggle with prolonged periods of restlessness before falling asleep or experience waking up in the middle of the night and having difficulty returning to sleep, foods high in melatonin alone won't solve these issues.

Dr. Schaedel recommends having your evening meal at least two hours before bed to avoid indigestion, blood sugar spikes, and increased body temperature during digestion. If you feel hungry later in the evening, it's advisable to plan a snack an hour or two before bed. Opt for a high-protein option like Greek yogurt or nuts and choose snacks low in complex carbohydrates to prevent blood sugar fluctuations.

Lisa Artis, deputy CEO of The Sleep Charity, suggests avoiding triggering foods that can cause discomfort. Fatty and spicy foods, as well as alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco, can lead to heartburn, indigestion, and hinder quality sleep.

Experts also share their recommended foods for promoting healthy sleep:

1. Cheese: Despite its reputation for causing nightmares, cheese actually has sleep-promoting properties. It contains tryptophan, an amino acid that aids in falling asleep more easily, and calcium, which helps reduce stress levels.

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2. Cherries: Tart cherries, in particular, naturally boost the production of melatonin. Studies have shown significant improvements in sleep quality and duration when consuming Montmorency cherries or tart cherry juice.

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3. Low sugar cereals: Cereal can contribute to better sleep; however, it's important to choose wisely. Opt for cereals that are low in sugar, as complex carbohydrates in these cereals increase the availability of tryptophan in the bloodstream, promoting better sleep quality.

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4. Bananas: Rich in magnesium, potassium, and tryptophan, bananas support sleep. Blend one banana with a cup of milk or soy milk for an ideal evening drink.

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5. Almonds: Almonds are an excellent source of calcium and magnesium, both of which promote muscle relaxation and support quality sleep. Additionally, magnesium helps regulate melatonin levels and maintains stable blood sugar levels throughout the night.

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6. Magnesium-rich foods: Magnesium plays a crucial role in sleep regulation and impacts neurotransmitters and hormones involved in sleep. Foods like pumpkin seeds, spinach, almonds, and dark chocolate, rich in magnesium, may improve sleep quality.

7. Omega-3 rich foods: Although research is limited, there is evidence suggesting that foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may improve sleep duration and quality. For instance, walnuts contain melatonin, tryptophan, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which contribute to regulating sleep. Other omega-3-rich foods include oily fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, and sardines, as well as chia seeds and flaxseeds.

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Incorporating these sleep-enhancing foods into your diet and adopting mindful eating habits can significantly improve your sleep quality and overall well-being. So, why not take a delicious step towards a restful night's sleep? Discover the power of cheese's sleep-inducing properties, choose low-sugar cereals to fuel your slumber, savor the calming effects of almonds, and embrace the omega-3 wonders for a truly revitalizing rest. Unlock the potential of these nourishing choices and awaken to a world of rejuvenation. Sweet dreams await as you embark on a journey towards optimal sleep through mindful nutrition.


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