More and more people occasionally suffer from insomnia. Sleep is essential and is the basis of numerous physiological and psychological functions. If you having trouble sleeping and want to sleep more easily and rest in peace, take note of these tips.
Bad sleep and poor sleep quality affect our whole day. In fact, they can affect not only fatigue and lack of energy, but also our weight, appetite, physical activity or the regulation of body temperature.
To improve sleep quality, attention must be paid to various factors, first of all, nutrition. To sleep better, feel good every day and have energy, a healthy diet where these foods are present is essential.
How to potentiate melatonin
The melatonin is a hormone that is produced during the “dark” phase of the day. Its main function is to promote sleep by regulating the circadian rhythm, that is, the 24-hour cycle that controls the body. Since it is distributed throughout the body, its action extends to most organs of the human body. Melatonin is a hormone that is synthesized by the essential amino acid tryptophan. In the early stages, tryptophan turns into serotonin, a neurotransmitter also known as a “happiness hormone” and linked to healthy sleep.
The concentration of serotonin in the brain is proportional to the concentration of tryptophan in the blood and brain. In turn, thanks to serotonin, we get melatonin. It is therefore important that the diet is a source of tryptophan, so that the body can naturally synthesize the ideal quantities of serotonin and melatonin, but to do this it needs the presence of other nutrients such as carbohydrates, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and zinc.
The 6 foods that help you sleep
- Whole grains (rice, oats, wheat, corn). These are sources of tryptophan, essential for the production of serotonin and therefore of melatonin. In addition, these foods provide a high content of B vitamins, which are most useful for the functioning of the nervous system. They are also carbohydrate-rich foods, necessary for the absorption of tryptophan.
- Dairy products (fresh cheese, yogurt and milk). These are rich in tryptophan, especially cheese, and also provide minerals such as magnesium and zinc necessary for the absorption of tryptophan.
- Foods that are a source of Omega 3(blue fish or fatty fish, such as tuna, salmon, trout, sardines, anchovies). They contain omega 3 rich fatty acids. They help reduce symptoms such as anxiety and sleep disturbances.
- Oil seeds (walnuts, almonds, peanuts). These are foods rich in B vitamins. The deficiency of these vitamins can lead to alterations of the central nervous system.
- The banana. It has a high content of vitamins, minerals and provides the body with a rapid supply of energy. In addition, it contains tryptophan which helps increase serotonin levels.
- Pineapple. It is rich in vitamins and minerals. It also contains active compounds that stimulate the production of serotonin. At the same time, other components of the pineapple calm anxiety. If pineapple is taken in the evening, before going to bed, the brain converts tryptophan to melatonin, the sleep hormone, therefore its consumption is associated with better rest. In addition, it also promotes digestion.
Other nutritional tips to help you sleep
Not only is it important to talk about foods that can help you sleep, but it is also important to consider a number of general measures and, above all, what you shouldn’t do:
- Avoid big meals.
- Avoid drinking alcohol.
- Avoid consuming coffee, chocolate or tobacco before going to bed.
- Do not eat acidic foods before going to bed.
- Eat dinner 1 to 2 hours before going to bed, as heavy digestion can occur and sleep may therefore not be possible.
Menu proposal that promotes sleep
An example of an ideal dinner that would help improve your sleep would be:
First: a salad consisting of cooked brown rice, soncino, tomato, green pepper, walnuts, fresh cheese and seasoned with balsamic vinegar, oil and salt.
Second : Trout baked with garlic and lemon.
Dessert: a slice of pineapple.
Following a varied diet consisting of all food groups and properly organizing their intake is the best way to keep serotonin constant. The Mediterranean diet is a model to follow, as it is based on a balanced and varied diet, adapted to the needs of each person.
Finally, it must be remembered that there must not be an excessive consumption of these foods, but everything must be consumed in the right measure without exaggerating with the quantities. It is important that you know that these foods help improve your sleep, but have no miraculous effect on our body. They must be integrated with other foods to obtain a dual-effect diet: not only will you sleep better, but you will also encourage a healthy diet, perfect for staying fit.
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