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In the last issue of CMag. We spoke about how sleeping can really improve your energy. Body composition and growth. We even went over a few tips to help improve your sleep.
However. Besides a few habitual strategies that one can adopt to improve sleep, there are a few nutritional strategies that you can employ to help you get a night of better sleep.
Let's have a look at a few foods you can add to your diet that can really go a long way in helping you get 8 hours of quality sleep.
Bananas: Biochemist Shawn Talbott says that bananas are your first port of call when helping you improve sleep. Bananas are high potassium which may calm restless legs and help prevent night-time leg cramps. Plus, bananas also provide magnesium, which helps relax muscles and nerves and promotes healthy circulation and digestion, according to Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and author of "The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan: Lose Weight Through Better Sleep.
Salmon: Making sure you have a good dinner loaded with nutrients to help you sleep is a sure-fire strategy to make sure you're primed for a good night's sleep according to clinical psychologist Michael Breus. A healthy close of omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon has been shown to reduce surges of stress hormones and promote restfulness, according to the UCLA Centre for East-West Medicine. Plus, it contains vitamin 8-6, which is needed to make the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.
Kale: Cue the illustrious superfood. Kale is high in potassium and calcium, both of which have sleep-Inducing properties. If you don't want to crunch on kale right before bed, include it in a salad as part of your evening meal or make a dark leaf salad to acid to your dinner.
Sweet Potatoes: A general health fanatics staple, sweet potatoes are a good source of potassium, which relaxes muscles and nerves and aids circulation and digestion, says clinical psychologist Michael Breus. In addition to potassium, sweet potatoes are a great source of carbs that help keep you satiated without creating that feeling of sluggishness from calorie-dense foods.
Almonds: The first of the super nuts. Almonds contain magnesium and can help ease you into a better night's sleep. They also provide protein, which can help you maintain a stable blood sugar level while you're sleeping. Clinical psychologist Michael Breus suggests snacking on a handful of almonds before bed. A tastier suggestion would be to create a meal that's more substantial: Try spreading some almond butter onto a slice of whole-grain toast.
Chickpeas: Also called garbanzo beans, chickpeas are a good source of vitamin B-6, which your body uses to produce serotonin, a mood elevator, and stress buster, according to clinical psychologist Michael Breus. The vitamin also helps synthesize melatonin, your body's main sleep hormone. Breus recommends eating chickpeas during dinner to help promote sleep later. Try not to go overboard with these as they can give you gas, which can disrupt your sleep.
Milk: Does milk really help you sleep better? Some experts are on the fence due to lack of conclusive scientific studies. Others swear by the power of calcium since it plays a direct role in the production of melatonin, which helps to maintain your body's 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. I know the jury is on the fence when it comes to milk but creating a consistent habit of drinking milk at night can eventually help promote the necessary hormonal responses to help sleep.
Herbal Tea: Experts say most varieties of decaf tea will encourage drowsiness. Green tea contains theanine, which may promote sleep (and yes, they extoll the relaxing effects from a blend of chamomile tea too). In study results presented at the Experimental Biology Scientific Conference in April 2014, researchers found that the tea decreased the time needed to fall asleep and increased total sleep duration, minutes of deep sleep and total sleep quality. Fix yourself a cup of tea before bed. In addition to the sleep-inducing components of the tea, the warmth of the hot cup is sure to get you feeling drowsy.
These 8 foods are definitely tasty and when added to healthy recipes.
The nutrients needed to help improve your sleep are easy to adopt into your daily routine. Obviously. You don’t need to add all of these at once. But alternating between them can definitely take you a long way.