Sleeplessness is a condition that is fast becoming common in the lives of many and a whole lot of the people struggling with these are completely unaware that foods can actually be helpful in triggering drowsiness or sleepiness. The unhealthy thing about this condition which is technically called insomnia is that it affects the entire body function and activities.
Tiredness, sluggishness, and moodiness could become your daily expressions. It has even been reported based on various researches that certain minerals are critical in the remedy of insomnia.
Ask a few of your friends or colleagues – How was your night? Did you sleep well? I bet many of them will tell you that they had a difficult time sleeping. Usually, so many factors are involved but foods can be a good remedy especially if you consume the foods at dinner. Let’s check some of the foods that can help induce sleep.
1. Herbal Tea:
Herbal Tea is one of the foods that has been helpful in making people get some sleep for many decades. In fact, there are many tea varieties that make people be more sleepy. These teas are known to put the body in a relaxed state. A popular herbal tea known to be effective is chamomile tea.
A cup of tea before bed will help you relax and fall asleep faster. Lemongrass tea is also known for helping you fall asleep. Caffeinated teas should be avoided as you all know they work in the opposite direction.
Dairy products are loaded with calcium and yogurt can be helpful in removing the stress out of your body and this helps you fall asleep more easily. Calcium helps the brain make use of a certain amino acid called tryptophan to manufacture a sleep-inducing substance called melatonin.
This explains why dairy products, which contain both tryptophan and calcium, are one of the top sleep-inducing foods. It is not advisable to consume whole milk products because they are not better tolerated at bedtime compared to healthy bacteria loaded yoghurt.
When taking Yoghurts, go for the quality brands that produce real yoghurt. See how to know those good yoghurts here (opens in new tab).
Banana is a super night snack particularly for those hoping to gain few pounds of flesh. Asides this, research has shown that a certain mineral such as magnesium is effective as a natural remedy for insomnia.
A lack of this mineral may cause you to wake up after a few hours and not return to sleep. Other magnesium-rich foods include spinach, nuts, seeds, fish and whole grains. Fortunately, it is one of the foods you can healthily snack on at night.
We have said so much about fish before. As a person, I prefer fish to meat. They contain more nutrients and the fats in many of them are the healthy type and more beneficial. There is no way we want to look at it, eating fish is better than eating meat.
Most fish—and especially salmon and tuna—have a significant amount of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is needed to make melatonin – a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness. This has also been confirmed by an article published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.
5. Almonds and nuts rich in Magnesium
Almonds contain tryptophan and magnesium. These two components help to naturally reduce muscle and nerve function while also steadying your heart rhythm. You would note that many of the foods we have mentioned above too either have magnesium or tryptophan.
Other nuts and seeds that are rich in magnesium include, almonds, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pine nuts, flaxseed, and pecans.
You may want to add these nuts to your diet. They are even easy to snack on at night before you go to bed. They will relax you and help induce a good night sleep.
6. Sound Night Sleep? Eat Cherries!
I have heard and read uncountable times that the best way to get a good night’s sleep is to increase your melatonin intake. We talked about this melatonin under yoghurt as a sleep-inducing substance. Some other foods foods other than yoghurt contain it too.
Cherries, along with nuts and oats, are a natural source of melatonin and, when eaten regularly, can help regulate your sleep cycle. I guess this is why some people would ask that you add coffee to their oat when they take it as breakfast – they don’t want to be sleeping about.
People have reported that alcohol and milk chocolate help them sleep but I wouldn’t recommend that. Alcohol makes you wake up with a hangover and you don’t want to eat chocolate just before going to bed.
It has been found that honey contains glucose, which tells your brain to shut off orexin. Orexin is the chemical that is known to trigger alertness. So, when glucose tells your brain to stop the supply of orexin, you become less alert (somewhat dull) and feel sleepy.
When you are taking honey for this purpose, you should not overdo it. One tablespoon for a good night’s sleep is more than enough. Make sure you get the real honey though. See how to identify real honey.
Please note, you should avoid eating heavily at night particularly close to bed time as it will affect your sleepiness. Other foods that I find to be effective in inducing sleepiness include garri, potatoes and some other carbohydrate loaded foods.
Understand the saying “different strokes for different folks”. What works for someone might not work for the other. So, we would like to hear from you to share foods that you eat which triggers sleepiness.