Food secrets for sweet slumber

We would have heard umpteen number of tips to beat insomnia, and would have followed quite a few of them, such as enjoying a cup of warm milk at bedtime, reading books, counting numbers, listening to soothing music, and what not. However, very few of us know that our daily diet could be the cause of poor quality sleep.

By paying a little more attention to the our daily food, such as including few herbs, vegetables, vitamins and minerals, which functions more like sleep-promoting supplements,The best part is that these are least addictive, and are natural, safe and effective solution to sleeplessness and disturbed sleep.

Our body mainly depends on the following major nutrients for restful sleep. However, before trying out these herbs, it is important to discuss with the doctor regarding any specific health conditions that one may have.

Herbs such as anise, California poppy, bergamot, chamomile, catnip, gentian root, guta kola, fennel, hops, Hawthorne berries, lavender, kava kava, marjoram, lemon balm, orange, oat, mullein, Melissa, primrose, passion flower, skullcap, rosemary, vervain, valerian root and verbena could be of much help.

Valerian root, particularly, is a popular and safe sleep aid, although it should only be used to suit individual needs.

Deficiency of calcium and magnesium could be the main reason for disturbed sleep among women. While calcium when present in right amount helps in calming the nervous system and in promoting high quality sleep, magnesium has a calming effect on the brain and nervous system which are essential for good sleep. Even insufficient iron levels and imbalanced copper levels could be the reason for poor sleep.

Some good sources of calcium are diary products, nuts (particularly almonds), soya milk, tangerines, lemons and onions. Magnesium is found in plenty in seafood, dark green vegetables, nuts, whole grains, dairy products, legumes, seeds, and fruits. Few excellent sources of copper and iron are seafood, molasses, nuts and eggs.

Further, whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat, and oats have a calming and soothing effect on the nervous system and in the mind. Carbohydrates also boost serotonin promoting better sleep. Foods such as crackers, bread, and bagels are high in complex carbohydrates and have sleep-inducing effect.

A glass of warm milk with honey is one of the oldest and best remedies for insomnia. Lettuce could be made an integral part of evening diet, to gain relief from disturbed sleep.

Follow the meal plan which promotes eating more at breakfast and lunch, and little at dinner.

Although on an experimental basis, once the body begins to gain the right combination of nutrients for proper functioning, a good night’s sleep will no longer be a distant dream.

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