The most common sleep disorder is insomnia. One in every 3 adults has occasional insomnia while one in every 10 suffers chronically. Insomnia is normally a short-term phase often linked to stress. Once the stress is gone, the insomnia goes away as well. However, if you suffer from insomnia for long periods of time, you may need to do more than just alleviate stress.
Getting better sleep can be as simple as changing your diet. There are foods known to improve sleep. Specifically, look for foods with a mix of calcium, potassium, magnesium, tryptophan, and B6.
- Poultry – Poultry, like chicken and turkey, has tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that you can only get from foods. It helps your body make serotonin, which in turn helps your body produce melatonin, a hormone that controls sleep cycles.
- Oatmeal – The grains in oatmeal trigger insulin production. They raise your blood pressure naturally and make you feel sleepy. Oats are also rich in melatonin, which has been shown to relax the body and help you fall asleep.
- Almonds – Try a handful of almonds right before bed and you’ll drift off to sleep in no time. Almonds contain tryptophan and magnesium, which both help naturally reduce muscle and nerve function, while also maintaining a steady heart rhythm.
- Yogurt – Calcium processes hormones that help you sleep, which are tryptophan and melatonin. Calcium, of course, can be found in anything dairy related if you don’t like yogurt. Other things to try are milk, cheese and crackers or even kale.
- Honey – Honey contains glucose, which tells your brain to shut off orexin – the chemical that triggers alertness. BUT – too much can have the opposite effect. Just one tablespoon before bed is plenty. Try adding it to a soothing cup of tea.
- Cherries – In order to get a good night’s sleep, you need to increase your melatonin. Cherries are a natural source of melatonin and when consumed regularly, can help regulate your sleep cycle.
- Bananas – Bananas are rich in magnesium and potassium, which serve as muscle and nerve relaxers. Plus, the vitamin B6 found in bananas also converts tryptophan into serotonin, increasing relaxation even more.