Lack of sleep can steal one’s piece of mind and leave the person restless and cranky throughout the day. Imbalanced diets can further cause cramps in the legs during the night, resulting into disturbed sleep. Looking at your screens (smartphones or tablets) can also make you toss and turn throughout the night. Research suggests that lack of sleep or having less sleep (less than 6- 8 hours) can lead to serious diseases like heart diseases, diabetes and strokes.
To be able to doze off, people often resort to various techniques like reading a book,meditation and counting sheep. These methods may help you go off to sleep but don’t assure you a sound sleep. But having a healthy diet can be a key factor in making you hit the sack. Here we reveal the 9 foods that nutritionists recommend you to include in your diet to have a tight sleep.
Foods rich in protein like fish, meat, fish, lentils, beans, seeds and nuts are vital for one’s health and help in inducing sleep.
“Protein foods provide the amino acid, tryptophan, which converts into the hormones serotonin and melatonin. Melatonin in particular is needed for good sleep,” says Shona Wilkinson, head nutritionist at www.nutricentre.com.
The nutritionist suggests that that an average body weight of a human constitutes of 0.8 to 1g per kg protein for each day. For instance, a woman weighing 60 kg, should eat 40 – 50 grams of protein in a day.
She adds, “Avoid too much high-protein food in the last few hours before bed however, as they can be hard to digest – especially red meat and nuts.”
2. COCONUT WATER
A nutritionist, Ms Barn suggests that drinking a glass of pure coconut water in the evening can aid you in getting a peaceful slumber.
She explains that, “Coconut water is an excellent source of electrolyte minerals: potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and sodium. Balanced levels of these minerals are necessary to maintain normal muscle action, nerve function and hydration in our body.”
She further adds, “Coconut water products from young green coconuts are thought to be the best.”
3. SLOW-RELEASE CARBS
Carbohydrates are extremely essential and help you alter your sleeping patterns. Foods like oats or oatcakes, and brown rice, are rich in carbohydrates and break down slowly to release energy into the body.
Cassandra Barns, a nutritionist says that, “Slow-releasing carbohydrates such as whole grains help to keep the levels of sugar (glucose) in your blood stable, and so provide your body with sustained energy. You may not think you need much energy while you’re asleep, but your brain and body still need glucose to keep working. If levels fall too low, this can cause the release of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which can wake you up.”
She suggests that you should include slow-releasing carbs in your dinner to avoid a rude awakening in the middle of the night.
“If you have your last meal a long time before going to bed, try eating a half-size bowl of porridge or a couple of oatcakes with nut butter later in the evening. Note, sugary foods and refined white carbohydrates can have the opposite effect, as they quickly enter and leave the bloodstream, leaving your blood low in glucose again after only a short period of time.”
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