Many factors contribute to insomnia and poor sleeping habits. These include, but are not limited, mineral, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin deficiencies. Without good sleep, your health and wellness will remain elusive.
In fact, impaired sleep will increase your risk of heart disease, stomach ulcers, cancer, and depression. So, how does one get proper sleep?
And what are the top 7 nutrients to help you sleep better?
Read on to learn more:
Dieting for Better Sleep
Adding some foods to your diet is going to improve your sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you are among the millions of Americans who do not get enough time to rest.
The health benefits of sleep cannot be overemphasized. Not only does enough shut eye keep you happy, it also sharpens the brain, strengthens the immune system, trims the waistline, and makes the skin look younger. It also lowers the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
Here’s some good news from me – eat more of the foods listed below to increase your chances of peaceful slumber:
- Eat Almonds and Bananas
Almonds of filled with calcium and magnesium. Eating a handful of almonds, therefore, will help improve your sleep. Alternatively, consider spreading almond butter on a slice of whole grain bread to better your chances of excellent shut-eye.
On the other hand, bananas are packed with magnesium and potassium – two minerals that are known for promoting muscle relaxation. Magnesium deficiency is linked to nighttime muscle cramps and restless leg syndrome; conditions that will interfere with proper sleep. To this end, you should consider eating at least one banana everyday to see if your sleep problems will dissipate.
- Drink Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is one of those age-old herbs that have been used to remedy insomnia for eon. In a recent study, chamomile was found to reduce mild to moderate anxiety disorder among mice – working as well as tranquilizers and better than placebo.
There are tons of ready-made chamomile teas sold at most coffee shops and supermarkets. This makes it one of the most accessible of the nutrient sources you can use to improve your sleep. What is more, chamomile tea has many other health benefits in store for you.
- Chomp on Cherries
In another study, the participants were given 8 ounces of tart cherry juice in the morning and another 8 ounces in the evening. Over the course of two weeks, their sleeping habits had seen a drastic improvement.
So, why do cherries work? Essentially, all cherry varieties are naturally high in a hormone that will make you feel sleepy – melatonin. Eating a cup of whole cherries or drinking tart cheery juice, therefore, will help you drift off faster.
- Gobble Up Fish
Fish is rich in a natural sedative known as tryptophan. In particular, halibut, tuna, cod, and shrimp have the highest levels of this sedative – even more so than turkey. However, seeing as how not all seafood is good for improved sleep, you should consider sticking to Albacore tuna and Pacific cod.
- Drink Lemon Balm
This is a member of the mint family that has induced sleep among people for ages. However, it is most effective when used in combination with valerian – another sleep-improving herb.
In a study published in Phytotherapy Research, participants with minor sleep problems were made to take the combination. 81% of them reported sleeping better than the participants who were on a placebo.
These herbs, you will be pleased to note, are available as supplements. Alternatively, consider making your own herbal tea using steeped dried lemon balm with valerian root (in measurements of 2:1 respectively) in some hot water. However, if you are on any other medication, ask your pharmacist or doctor about any potential drug-herb interactions.
- Consume Milk
Dairy products are generally high in calcium – which boosts melatonin. A number of studies have been conducted on this nutritious drink. Most of them found that deficiencies in calcium almost always lead to poor sleeping habits. Therefore, there might be some truth to that old folk’s tale that a glass of milk will improve your sleep after all!
- Reach Out for Carb and Protein Combos
A National Institute of Health study recently found that getting tryptophan from foods that are high in protein will work against you. This is because the protein will end up preventing the tryptophan from getting through to your brain.
However, when you combine foods that are high in protein with carbs, then your body will provide insulin. This will make it easier for the nutrients to slip to your brain and give you better sleep.
Therefore, to get your dose of protein and carbs, consider taking oatmeal with almonds and bananas, granola, peanut butter and whole grain bread, or whole grain cereal in organic milk.
The Best Nutrients for Improved Sleep
Apart from the above suggestions, there are numerous other nutrients that will definitely help you get better sleep quality. These include, but are not limited to:
Lycopene is a power-packed nutrient that can reduce the incidence of insomnia. It is generally found in watermelon, papaya, tomatoes, and grapefruit.
Selenium is a common staple in cod, tuna, and halibut. It is also found in nuts, turkey, barley, and shellfish.
c) Vitamin C
Add your dose of vitamin C by taking kale, broccoli, bell peppers, cirrus fruits, papaya, strawberries, and pineapple.
Did you know that carbs are good for you? Those which are ingested and digested easily by the body – such as white bread, potatoes, rice, and cereal – should be eaten at least 4 hours before you go to bed. By so doing, you will fall asleep sooner and for longer.
Improved Nutrition for Better Sleep
If you have not been enjoying your bed time, then it won’t take long before this starts affecting your health. This is even if you have been doing everything else perfectly and to the tee.
The great thing is that there are tons of solutions you can fall back on to address insomnia and poor sleep. All of them, of course, start with a change in your lifestyle and diet.
As you have read from our advice above, certain nutrients – such as vitamins, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and melatonin – play an especially important role. Take more foods with these nutrients and your sleep pattern will see a considerable improvement.
Have you enjoyed reading about these sleep-inducing nutrients? The lists above are important to me because I only just started sleeping well – after years of battling chronic insomnia. Adding more of these nutrients to your diet, therefore, is going to help improve your sleep.
You should also consider trying out some of the earplugs recommendations to improve your sleep even better. To add to these lists and suggestions, add your thoughts in the comments section below. You can also help others dealing with poor sleep by sharing this article if you found it useful.
Lana Sanders is the founder of Smart Health Kick, where she and her associates dedicated to natural remedies, healthy receipt, healthy lifestyle, fitness and more. Smart Health Kick provide easy to understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact.
Ken Weiss is a health blogger who is passionate about natural and holistic cures for men’s health issues. He is the founder of menshealthcures.com