We all know sound sleep is crucial for good health. A good night sleep not only recharges the body but also refreshes the mind for the day’s work and helps you perform better while a sleep-deprived person tends to make poor decisions.
What’s more, it also helps you in maintaining healthy body weight. As per healthcare experts, lack of sleep is one of the reasons of weight gain. How? Well, there is a hormone called ghrelin – it tells us to eat. Insufficient sleep leads to an increase in ghrelin level, which send messages to brain to eat. So, when you sleep less, you tend to eat more. Another hormone, Leptin, is secreted more while we are sleep. And Leptin’s job is to reassure the brain that energy reserves are adequate for the time and there is no need to eat.
Many of us these days lack good quality sleep, thanks to our wonky lifestyles. Most people, and not just those in jobs involving night shifts, prefer working or entertaining till late in the night. It is only when you age a little do you realise the toll lack of sleep has taken upon your health and beauty – increased body weight, paunches, dark under-eye circles etc etc. Correcting the sleep pattern at this stage of life seems an uphill task, for, the body is so used to sleeping late that you don’t get sleep even if you retire to bed early. But don’t worry, help is round the corner. Here we list some foods which help induce sleep. Always keep in mind, though, that food consumption should be done at least two before your bed time – two hours is the minimum time it takes to digest food.
Milk and other dairy products
Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that help make melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, and serotonin helps regulate appetite, sleep, mood, and pain. Half a spoon of turmeric boiled in milk (you get it as Turmeric Latte in high-end restaurants) transforms it into an elixir. Turmeric is not just anti-inflammatory, it also aids in digestion and has a calming effect on mind.
Nuts – Almonds & Walnuts
Eat these raw of blended in warm milk. Both almonds and walnuts are rich in melatonin as also the sleep-enhancing mineral magnesium. Walnuts also contain serotonin, again good for sleep.
Banana is a wholesome food, and contrary to popular belief can be had at any time of the day. It is loaded with essential minerals like iodine, magnesium, potassium, tryptophan, vitamin B6 and fibre, all of which help you relax, keep you feeling full and stimulate sleep.
Having a cup of Chamomile Tea greatly help soothe your frayed nerves. It contains a flavonoid called apigenin that stimulates sleep.