Created: Aug 25, 2018
Can do worse than just tire you out the next day. If you're suffering from chronic lack of sleep, it can take a toll on your overall health, It can also lower your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infections. It can trigger mood changes like irritability, depression, and anxiety. And studies have linked insufficient sleep to weight gain; increased risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes; and even shorter life expectancy.
Melatonin - is a sleep-regulating hormone that alerts your body it’s time for bed; recommended taking between ½ mg and 1 ½ mg about 90 minutes before bedtime. Just be careful not to take too much too often, since it can affect your body’s natural hormonal balance. “Melatonin is great for jet lag, Sunday night insomnia, and for people age 55 and older, which is when melatonin deficiency is common, Magnesium is another safe supplement.
You’ve probably been told a few times to eat a banana when you have sore muscles or after a workout, but have you ever been told to eat a banana before bed? Bananas are a great source of both magnesium and potassium, which help to relax your muscles and regulate your heartbeat, both integral steps in the process of falling asleep.
Bananas have been linked to dreaming by many different people, and the reason for that seems to boil down to serotonin. Serotonin plays a role in helping the brain remain somewhat alert during the REM stage of the sleep cycle, which leads to greater dream intensity and recall. Bananas contain the B6 vitamin, which converts tryptophan into serotonin.
In addition to being great for pit-spitting competitions in the summers (…just my family? no?), cherries are actually a decent source of melatonin, a sleep hormone that occurs naturally in our brain chemistry. Contrary to popular belief, melatonin does not induce sleep. What it does do is help to regulate the circadian rhythm (sleep cycle) by signaling the body to start shutting down when it’s dark outside and to wake up when it’s light again. Serious sleep problems are typically not caused by melatonin deficiencies, but eating foods rich in the hormone before bed on a regular basis can help to get the cycle back on track.
One of melatonin’s other jobs is to regulate serotonin levels, so it helps to make sure that everything in your brain chemistry is working as it should to bring about a great dreaming experience.
Like bananas, almonds contain magnesium, which has been shown to combat both insomnia and restless leg syndrome. They also contain tryptophan, that all-important precursor to the serotonin that makes our dreams bright and exciting!
These babies are full of our good friend melatonin, and the complex carbohydrates in oats (as well as other grains) cause a spike in insulin, which tends to cause drowsiness. This insulin-induced energy crash is also what causes your holiday food comas, incidentally. By eating more oats you will find that your sleep quality is improved in general, but especially your REM stage.