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8 Best Foods To Help You Sleep Better At Night

8 Best Foods To Help You Sleep Better At Night

Are you an insomniac? If something is keeping you up at night, eating certain types of food can help you sleep better. Having sleep-inducing foods can be a great way to get the much-needed rest you’ve been craving. So if the old saying is ‘you are what you eat’, you can choose whether you’d like to be a sleepless wreck, or a well-slept human, depending on what you eat!

So let’s look at some foods that can help you sleep better at night.

1. Walnuts

food-nature-autumn-nuts

    They’re rich in ‘tryptophan’, an amino acid that helps in producing serotonin and melatonin both of which are fantastic for relaxing your mind, regulating your inner ‘body clock’ and helping you sleep like a baby. Some people actually have pills that contain melatonin to sleep faster, so clearly, walnuts are a much healthier and natural alternative. According to a study performed by the University of Texas Health Science Centre, 1g of walnut contains between 2.5 and 4.5ng of melatonin, which helps sleep better.[1]

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    2. Almonds

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      They’re a gem of a food for sleeping better, as they contain magnesium, often used as a cure for headaches and for reducing stress. They’re great ‘brain foods’ in general, which helps your mind function better, and therefore, promoting sleep. Scientific evidence suggests that ‘activated almonds’, which are almonds soaked in water for at least 24 hours,[2] are rich in mono saturated fat, which can promote better sleep and a healthier heart, too.

      3. Warm Milk

      milk-glass-frisch-healthy-46520

        The truth is that any dairy product, including cheese or cottage cheese, with warm milk being on the top of the list, contains calcium, which helps in producing melatonin in the body. Ever tried having a hot glass of milk right before you go to bed? Try it just once, you won’t even notice when your eyes shut and you ‘fall’ asleep. Sleep (or sleepiness) is the body’s natural response to a warm glass of milk! Some scientists say that a warm glass of milk can be as soothing as a favourite old blanket.[3]

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        4. Bananas

        fruits-grocery-bananas-market

          They’re quite popular for their richness in potassium and magnesium, both of which are muscle relaxants. Inevitably, when your muscles relax and loosen up, you sleep better. They’ve also got vitamin B6 and are an excellent source of fiber, inducing serotonin, with the by-product being high-quality sleep. Research shows that bananas and sleep are definitely connected![4]

          Here’s an idea. Blend warm milk, a banana, a few almonds and walnuts into the perfect sleep concoction? If it works, it could just be the sleep elixir you need! Read on.

          5. Salad Leaves

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          food-salad-healthy-colorful

            Lettuce, in particular, has lactucarium, which has sedative properties similar to opium. They reduce inflammations in the body of any kind. Having too much lettuce therefore definitely won’t ‘zombify’ your brain, but can act as a tension diffuser and relaxant to sleep well. Here’s some scientific evidence on the numerous health benefits of lettuce,[5] and how it can help you sleep better.

            6. Sweet Potatoes

            gi1105h_twice-baked-sweet-potatoes_s4x3-jpg-rend-sniipadlarge

              They’re not just delicious, but a rich source of vitamin B6, vitamin A, and complex carbohydrates which act as sleep inducing agents in the body, while also aiding ocular health. Not only will you sleep better, you can also see better by including these goodies in your diet! This journal of medicinal plants says that potatoes almost act like a sleeping pill by preventing the production of acids in the stomach that cause sleeplessness.[6] It’s theory backed by evidence!

              7. Cherry Juice

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              cherry-juice-800x449

                This sweet potion is rich in melatonin-inducing tryptophan, and also spikes insulin levels up in the body which can make the body a bit ‘lazy & sleepy’. This study found that consuming cherry juice twice a day increased sleep times by up to 90 minutes![7] Quite interesting, yes?

                8. Herbal Tea

                herbal-tea-herbs-tee-mint-159203

                  Chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce muscle and back pains, and acts as a muscle and nerve relaxant. Having a cup of chamomile tea can give you that ‘light headed’ feeling you need to fall asleep. It’s magical, natural and safe! Research shows that chamomile tea also acts as an anti depressant, therefore promoting better sleep by reducing anxiety.[8]

                  Food for thought: try eating salad with loads of lettuce, sweet potatoes, and cherry juice dressing, followed by a cup of herbal tea, to see what happens? Make sure you’re in bed immediately after consuming this.

                  Conclusion

                  As a rule of thumb, you should eat a light dinner and make sure to stop having meals at least 3 hours before you plan to sleep. Drink just enough water (not too little, or you’ll dehydrate yourself to sleeplessness, and not too much, or you’ll drive yourself to endless trips to the bathroom the whole night) so your body is well nourished to sleep. So go ahead, consume sleep inducing foods, create an environment that’s conducive to sleep, and kiss your insomnia goodbye!

                  Reference

                  [1] http://bodyapplicatorwraps.com/5-sleep-enhancing-foods-to-eat-before-bedtime/
                  [2] http://foodwatch.com.au/blog/in-the-news/item/activated-almonds-anyone-a-balanced-view.html
                  [3] http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/04/health/04real.html
                  [4] https://www.vitatalalay.com/eating-a-banana-before-bed/
                  [5] https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-lettuce.html
                  [6] http://www.plantsjournal.com/vol1Issue1/Issue_jan_2013/3.pdf
                  [7] http://www.choosecherries.com/press-material/study-tart-cherry-juice-increases-sleep-time-in-adults-with-insomnia/
                  [8] http://www.naturalhealth365.com/chamomile.html/

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                  Akshay Sachdeva

                  Entrepreneur

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                  Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                  How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                  How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                  Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                  You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                  Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                  1. Work on the small tasks.

                  When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                  Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                  2. Take a break from your work desk.

                  Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                  Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                  3. Upgrade yourself

                  Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                  The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                  4. Talk to a friend.

                  Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                  Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                  5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                  If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                  Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                  Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                  6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                  If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                  Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                  Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                  7. Read a book (or blog).

                  The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                  Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                  Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                  8. Have a quick nap.

                  If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                  9. Remember why you are doing this.

                  Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                  What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                  10. Find some competition.

                  Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                  Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                  11. Go exercise.

                  Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                  Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                  As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                  Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                  12. Take a good break.

                  Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                  Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                  Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                  Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                  More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                  Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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