7 Foods to Help You Sleep at Night
Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most beneficial things you can do for both your mind and your body. In fact, a growing body of scientific evidence shows that lack of sleep negatively affects your health, your mood, your weight, your sex life and more.
Yet despite the indisputable fact that getting plenty of sound, restful sleep is essential to good health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that nearly 40% of Americans report having regular difficulties falling asleep on a regular basis.
Benefits of Sleep
Sleep has innumerable positive benefits for nearly every aspect of our lives. Here are just some of the most important ways in which a good night’s rest has a positive impact on the mind and body.
Hundreds of scientific studies have shown that there is a clear link between insufficient sleep and serious health problems including heart disease (including increased risk of heart attacks), diabetes, increased susceptibility to illness, obesity and more. A sufficient amount of regular, restful sleep strengthens the body, giving it the fuel it needs to maintain optimal health and ward off illness.
Improved memory and cognitive brain function
While your brains is busy 24 hours a day, it is most active during the day. Research shows that people who suffer from a lack of sleep have reduced cognitive brain function and are less able to remember facts and things they have learned. So if you want to optimize your brain’s functioning, then you had better get to snoozing.
Our muscles actually get bigger and stronger while we are sleeping, not when lifting weights. Lifting progressively heavier weights causes tiny micro tears in the muscle tissue.
These tears are repaired during sleep, each time getting better prepared (bigger and stronger) for the next time they are stressed through progressive resistance.
Several studies have shown that people who sleep less tend to die earlier. For instance, a 2010 study of women ages 50 to 79 found that more deaths occurred in women who got less than five hours of sleep compared to women who slept from six to eight hours a night.
The National Sleep Foundation conducted a poll, revealing that more than one-out-of-four persons say that their sex lives suffer because they are just too tired.
There is also growing evidence of a link between lack of sleep and lower testosterone levels in men. Regular, restful sleep can keep you fully charged and ready to enjoy a healthy sex life.
Now that you know some of the benefits of sleep, let’s take a look at ways to get a better night’s sleep. Sleep aids are always an option but they are not natural, upset our natural metabolism, have unwanted side effects and can be habit forming.
There are however, seven foods you can eat that help the body to naturally induce a sound, restful night’s sleep.
Foods to help you sleep
Most fish, but particularly salmon, halibut and tuna are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, which supports production of melatonin, a powerful sleep-inducing hormone.
Numerous studies such as one published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences have demonstrated the power of fish to support healthy sleep.
Tart cherry juice
Besides fish, tart cherry juice is also rich in melatonin. So if you are not in the mood for a before-bed fish snack, you could opt for a glass of tart cherry juice. Studies have shown that regular use of tart cherry juice can benefit sleep and help reduce insomnia.
Yogurt and other dairy product are rich in calcium. Studies have shown that people will calcium deficiencies are more likely to have difficulties falling asleep at night.
Yogurt can help boost calcium levels and consequently, help you fall asleep faster.
Many whole grains such as bulgur and barley, are excellent sources of magnesium. The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine reports that many people with magnesium deficiencies also find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Kale and other leafy greens
Kale, collards and other dark green leafy vegetables are also loaded with calcium. A few serves of these healthy vegetables may make you feel sleep and more rested.
While they are mostly known for their high potassium content, like tart cherry juice, bananas are also a good source of Vitamin B6, which facilitates the production of melatonin.
The humble chickpea is also an excellent source for getting your daily dose of Vitamin B6.
Nutritional supplements are another way that you can make sure your body has the right amount of Vitamin B6, melatonin, magnesium and other natural elements that facilitate a good night’s rest.
Critical Nutrition’s Sleep Fusion is a simple-to-use, completely natural solution that that helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. This customized blend includes 7 milligrams of Melatonin per serving.
In addition, Critical Nutrition’s custom formula contains 10 milligrams of Vitamin B6 and 125 milligrams of Magnesium. Sleep Fusion also includes a unique, sleep-inducing blend of Chamomile Flower Powder, Hops Powder Flower and Passion Flower for maximum results.