For some people, sleep comes as naturally as breathing. The moment their heads hit the pillow, they are in beddy-bye land. For others, sleeping can be a problem. There are people who would stay in bed for hours on end just trying to fall asleep. Some will fall asleep but wake up intermittently all throughout the night.
If you belong to the second group – the sleepless ones – you ought to know that there are certain kinds of food that can aid in sleeping. While there are a lot of myths associated with sleep, the truth is that certain elements/ingredients in food can contribute to sleep.
Take a look at this list of top 10 food that will allow you to snooze off before you know it.
Warm milk, that is. Do not discount what your mom has been telling you all these years. Some people think that the idea of drinking warm milk before going to bed helps in making your drowsy is a mere myth. Well, here’s one supposed myth that is actually true and is backed up by scientific data!
Milk has tryptophan, which is an amino acid with sedative properties. While milk doesn’t contain that much tryptophan, it does have enough to help you feel drowsy. Another thing that helps is the fact that milk contains calcium, which not only strengthens your bones, but also assists the brain in processing tryptophan. So the next time you need help in falling asleep, warm some milk up before bedtime and down it!
Take note of the kind of tea – black tea or other kinds of tea with caffeine content will not work! There are different kinds of chamomile flower that are used to make the tea. However, it does not matter which kind is used for your tea as all varieties contain relaxants and have anti-spasmodic properties. These things contribute to getting your body relaxed enough to fall asleep. As an added plus, chamomile has a lot of healing properties!
Nope, I am not encouraging you down the alcoholic path. It does make sense, however. Remember the last time you had one drink too many? You probably fell flat on your face even before you reached your bed. Obviously, that’s not what I am trying to get at. According to researchers, a glass of wine can help you feel drowsy. The scientific explanation is that wine helps you relax by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. Just make sure you stick to one glass before bedtime as more than that may only wake you up in the middle of the night or worse, give you a slamming hangover the next day.
Not a fruit lover? Well, perhaps you ought to start with bananas if you are having trouble sleeping. Bananas taste really good and are filling. More than that, though, bananas contain melatonin – lots of it. Bananas also have serotonin and magnesium, both of which contribute to reaching ‘sleepy state.’
Red bell peppers
Aren’t peppers supposed to wake you up due to their spiciness? Sure, but red bell peppers are not spicy at all, and even better, they contain lots of Vitamin C. In fact, studies have shown that red bell peppers contain the highest amount of Vitamin C – more than any other fruit or vegetable! What this vitamin does is to inhibit the secretion of cortisol, which is the hormone released when you’re stressed (hence, you can’t sleep).
While Vitamin C might not knock you out, having enough in your body will help you get quality sleep; and we all know that sometimes, quality is more important than quantity! (If you can’t make yourself eat red bell peppers, go get some supplements.)
Oatmeal is another kind of food that is healthy, filling, and sleep-inducing. The reason behind this is that oatmeal contains melatonin. Again, this hormone helps you relax and ready for dream land. For better results, combine milk with your oatmeal. That should get you asleep in no time at all.
Of course, turkey made it to this list. After all, it is not the most popular sleep-inducing food for nothing! And, no, it is not a myth. Turkey is actually full of tryptophan, the same amino acid found in milk. And, while milk may contain only traces of tryptophan, turkey has loads of it. Better yet, turkey is not at all that fattening!
Almonds and other nuts like peanuts and hazelnuts are good sleep aids. They all contain tryptophan, which we’ve already established as something that makes you fall asleep.
Popcorn? Yes, popcorn. Believe it or not, this favorite movie-time snack can actually aid you in getting some much needed sleep. Popcorn has lots of carbs, which produces serotonin, which in turn helps you relax. Word of caution: do not eat popcorn with butter before going to bed. Otherwise, you’ll negate all that work in the gym!
Who likes tofu? I do! If you’re one of us, then tofu just might be what you need to help you get some rest at night. If you have a tofu dinner, you’ll get the carbs that you need without the fat, so eat up!
Of course, you have to remember that merely eating these items without addressing other issues will not totally solve your sleep problem. Combine these food items with proper exercise and a healthy lifestyle and you should cure your sleep issues in no time at all.