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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 September 28, 2020

                  The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                  The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                  At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

                  Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

                  One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

                  When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

                  So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

                  Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

                  This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

                  Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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                  When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

                  Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

                  One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

                  Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

                  An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

                  When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

                  Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

                  Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

                  We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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                  By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

                  Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

                  While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

                  I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

                  You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

                  Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

                  When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

                  Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

                  Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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                  Con #2: Less Human Interaction

                  One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

                  Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

                  Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

                  This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

                  While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

                  Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

                  Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

                  This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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                  For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

                  Con #4: Unique Distractions

                  Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

                  For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

                  To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

                  Final Thoughts

                  Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

                  We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

                  More About Working From Home

                  Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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