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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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                  Entrepreneur

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                  Last Updated on November 11, 2019

                  How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                  How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                  Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

                  To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

                  Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

                  1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

                  Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

                  Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

                  To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                  2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

                  Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

                  If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

                  Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

                  3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

                  Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

                  Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

                  4. Feed Your Brain

                  Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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                  This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

                  Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

                  Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

                  5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

                  According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

                  Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

                  Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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                  6. Write it Down

                  If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

                  It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

                  You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

                  7. Listen to Music

                  Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

                  8. Visual Concepts

                  In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

                  Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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                  Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

                  9. Teach Someone Else

                  Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

                  Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

                  10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

                  Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

                  So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

                  Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

                  More About Boosting Memory

                  Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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