You know what they say: you are what you eat. When you look at almost any long-term health issue, there is always a dietary component that can be changed to help you manage it. This goes as much for sleep as it does for anything else. There are foods, and substances in those foods, that can help you get a better night’s rest.
I know that for me, depending on what I eat, and particularly if I eat too late in the evening, my sleep is going to be very disturbed. Do you find that true for you too?
Here, we’re going to look at some components that can help you sleep, as well as what foods you can find those components in. It’s not just food that affects your sleep though, and we’ll look at that too.
Can almonds help your sleep?
There are a lot of different bodily factors that can impact how we sleep. However, one of the most important processes when it comes to this is the production of the sleep-regulating hormone, melatonin. Melatonin is so important that it’s often diagnosed in the case of clinical sleep deprivation.
However, for those who just need a little extra help getting as much sleep as they should, each night, then there are sources of melatonin you can easily add to your diet. Almonds and other nuts have proven to act as a source for melatonin. They also fit some of the other needs for a healthy night’s sleep that we’re going to explore below, such as giving your magnesium and controlling the levels of stress hormones in the body.
Magnesium can boost your sleep
The minerals that we are supposed to get through our diet can help us in a wide variety of ways. Magnesium is one of the most important minerals of all, being essential for our health and used in hundreds of cellular processes all throughout our entire body. Magnesium can also help us get to sleep in a variety of ways. First of all, it can help both our mind and body relax, which we will explore more thoroughly, later. Most importantly, however, magnesium deficiency is linked to problems that can make it harder to get to sleep, even leading to insomnia. Magnesium is found in a range of foods, including avocados, bananas, kiwifruit, and more.
The role of stress on your sleep
The circular relationship between stress and poor sleep quality and quantity has been known in the health world for a long time now. Symptoms of stress include the production of the stress hormone, cortisol, which can lead our muscles to be tenser and our mind to be more alert at night, which can all contribute to more difficulty getting to sleep.
Furthermore, not getting sleep leads to the production of more cortisol, making us more stressed. Aside from magnesium, using natural supplements that can help people deal with stress, such as CBD gummies may be able to help you get to sleep. Taking the time to practice relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises and meditation before bed can help, as well.
Get those fatty fish
Whether you’re eating a salmon fillet or making a nutritious home-cooked fish pie, you could be aiding your sleep by ensuring that you’re getting enough fatty fish in your diet. One thing that any novice dietician or nutritionist could tell you about fatty fish is that it is chock full of omega-3 fatty acids. These are generally super healthy for a variety of reasons but, combined with the vitamin D regularly found in fatty fish, they also both aid in the production of serotonin. The effects of serotonin on sleep have already been described, but it can generally help better regulate your energy levels throughout the day as well, due to its role in maintaining the body clock, making you more likely to start feeling sleepy at night.
Fueling your exercise
You want to make sure you get your supply of protein and healthy carbs for the evening because it’s recommended by a lot of sleep specialists that you take the time to work out a few hours before you go to bed. A lot of people mistakenly believe that exercising in the evening actually makes it more difficult to go to sleep, since it’s more likely to make you mentally alert. However, exercise helps you sleep in a wide range of ways. Not only is it natural relief for the stress and anxiety that keeps a lot of us up, but it also improves both sleep duration and sleep quality.
If you’re not getting between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every day, then you might need to look at what you can do to improve your sleeping quality. Implementing the dietary tips featured above will not be a fix-all solution, but they can certainly help.
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