Lack of enough sleep and poor sleeping habits come with myriad health issues including diabetes, obesity, high-blood pressure, and depression. Although everyone would wish to get enough sleep every night, sometimes it is not always possible.
Whereas most people will associate their lack of sleep to chronic insomnia and stress, others do not even know why they cannot fall asleep. But research shows that what you eat has an immense effect on your sleep. And so, your choice of food can determine whether you fall asleep fast and for long or not. To make sure you do not have trouble dozing you should eat the following foods (and beverages) before bed:
1. Crackers and Cheese
Cheese is probably the last food that you will find in a diet plan, but a few slices of it before bed can be just what you need for a good night’s sleep. Just like other dairy products, cheese is rich in calcium which is an essential element that helps the brain to utilize tryptophan to produce melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. Although you can just chew the slices of cheese as they are, they taste better with some crackers, and the carbohydrates on the crackers can also benefit your sleep.
2. Chamomile Tea
Most people have a tendency of taking bedtime tea just before they jump into their bed. However, most consume regular tea with plenty of sugar as they find it refreshing. But, if you want to get better night’s sleep, you should always go for something herbal that does not contain caffeine like chamomile.
Chamomile is one of the most useful sleep-inducing herbal teas, and it has been in use as a sleep promoter for many centuries. This herb is a sleep inducer that works as a mild tranquilizer, and it also has some relaxing and calming effect. Taking a small cup of chamomile about 30 minutes before bed will ensure that you do not spend endless hours turning in bed. Also, it is easy to prepare as you only need to steep fresh or dry flowers in boiling water for a few minutes.
3. A Mug of Milk
Individuals that take a warm cup of milk before bed every night do not experience insomnia. It is for this reason that moms around the world always insist that their kids have to take a glass of milk before bed. Milk and most other products that come from it contain all the essential things that are necessary for sleep inducement. They include tryptophan, calcium, and magnesium and so you can almost be sure of a long peaceful rest if you take some milk before tucking yourself between the sheets.
A small bowl of salad with plenty of lettuce can help speed up the rate at which you fall asleep. Apart from having many health benefits, lettuce is also good for sleep because it contains lactucarium, a compound that has sedative effects and affects the brain in the same way as opium.
Although lettuce salad is tasty and nutritious, not everyone likes it, but there are still some other ways to get the benefits from this vegetable. One easy way is to simmer a few leaves in a cup of water for quarter and hour. You should then remove the lettuce and add a few mint leaves to the liquid to spice up the taste and take it before bed.
5. Ginger Tea with Dates
Here is another bedtime drink that is also useful in helping you fall asleep fast and for long. Ginger has a calming effect on the brain and body which is just what you need for sleep. It is also useful in getting rid of the toxins that can cause sleeplessness. You can mix it with other herbs like chamomile or just steep fresh grated ginger in hot water for some time and drink the resulting beverage. Snacking on dried dates will also help as they aid in digestion which is one of the common reasons why you might be unable to sleep.
Some kinds of foods such as pretzels have a high glycemic index, and this is the reason why you will get a natural spike in your insulin and blood sugar levels after eating them. A spike in insulin and blood sugar will, in turn, shorten the time that it takes you to sleep. Although people will prefer to maintain a balance of the two in most cases, if you are having trouble sleeping, pretzels can come in handy because they will contribute to increasing the flow of tryptophan to the brain.
What you eat before bed will affect your sleep, and so you cannot afford to make the wrong choices. The six foods above will provide you with some ideas on the kinds of dishes and beverages that you should take for a restful night.
Want to get some help with your diet while practicing yoga? Go on a yoga retreat where the experts will support you with their knowledge and experience!