Friday, July 18, 2014

Best Foods to Help You Sleep

Do you have a difficult time sleeping? Do you toss and turn in your bed? Do you wake up early and feel tired? Millions of people have the same problem. For these people, falling and staying asleep doesn't come naturally. As a result, they feel tired, weak and are in poor health.  One possible reason why this is so is because of their diet.

Experts say that quality sleep depends on what you eat. To get a good night’s sleep, it’s important to calm your brain. You can do this by eating the right foods. Just as some foods keep you awake, certain foods can help you sleep.  Foods that promote sleep are those that contain tryptophan - an amino acid that the body uses to make serotonin and melatonin. These are neurotransmitters that relax your brain.

Tryptophan is vital for the production of these sleep-inducing neurotransmitters. You can increase the body’s production of tryptophan simply by eating foods that have this substance. Doing so drives more tryptophan to the brain that will help you sleep.

The best way to do this is to combine tryptophan-rich foods with those rich in carbohydrates. Eating more  carbohydrates causes your body to release insulin. This, in turn, drives other amino acids away from your brain. As a result, tryptophan is left with little competition.

What foods are rich in tryptophan? There’s a lot actually. The list includes beans, whole grains, lentils, chickpeas, hazel nuts, peanuts, eggs, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and miso or fermented soy beans. You’ll also find tryptophan in unsweetened soy milk and raw dairy products. If your evening snack includes these foods together with carbohydrate-rich foods, your body will have a good amount of serotonin and you’ll sleep soundly.