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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

                  4 Mistakes People Easily Make That Stop Them From Achieving Big Goals The 6 Best Stretches to Relieve Your Neck Pain Quickly 8 Best Foods To Help You Sleep Better At Night 3 Reasons Why An Introvert And An Extrovert Can Make the Best Couple

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                  Last Updated on July 2, 2020

                  Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

                  Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

                  There is very little in life as annoying or distracting as neck pain. Most people find that neck pain is temporary. What can you do if your neck pain seems chronic or if it comes and goes with no obvious source?

                  Whether you have simply slept on your neck wrong or you are working late, hunched over a keyboard half the night, neck pain is, well, a pain in the neck!

                  What most people are unaware of is that there are little known hacks that can help you find relief from neck pain fast and naturally. This means no pills or expensive exercise equipment to buy.

                  How can you get relief from neck pain?

                  There are several easy steps to follow to find the perfect hack for solving your neck pain fast and easy.

                  How Did I End Up With This Pain in the Neck?

                  Neck pain often has an I-was-looking-right-at-it source that we don’t recognize at first glance. Once you identify the source of the pain, you can take the best corrective measure, or several measures if need be!

                  Ask yourself these questions to find a possible source:

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                  • Do you spend much of the day sitting (desk job, typing, etc.)?
                  • How old are your mattress and pillow?
                  • How much exercise do you work into an average day?
                  • How do you manage stress?
                  • Have you been injured or in an accident (no matter how small) lately?

                  Perhaps one last question to ask yourself might be, “Is my pain a regular occurrence, or is my neck pain something that has just cropped up?

                  Once you know the answers to these questions, you can start searching for answers.

                  Remedies for Neck Pain

                  Once you know the source, try tapping into one (or several) of these solutions to start healing your neck pain now.

                  1. Everyday Activities

                  One of the important factors with neck pain will be your everyday activities. Other than an injury or accident, one of the largest factors for neck pain includes working overtime in an office and the stress that work entails[1].

                  Due to the coronavirus, many people find themselves working from home, in kitchens, basements, using a barstool, and/or other equipment that was not designed for humans to spend hours on end, typing and looking at a computer screen.

                  If you find that your neck pain has occurred during the past few months due to a job change, or if you suddenly began working from home, your issue may be due to ergonomics. Invest in an adjustable office chair to help make your workspace more neck-friendly.

                  2. Age of Mattress and Pillow

                  The age of your mattress and pillow should also be considered. Pillows, on average, should be changed every 3 years, and a mattress every 7-10 years. No matter how good or comfortable you think these items are, the truth is that they are hurting your neck and back with a lack of support.

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                  A good mattress is well worth the investment, and pillows are always on sale, as well as wallet-friendly. If you haven’t tried them, a water-filled pillow can be comfortable for many people.

                  3. Exercise/Movement/Stretching

                  It’s that old exercise question that no one wants to hear. This time around, it has been difficult for many people to get in good exercise since they have been housebound due to the quarantine. There are plenty of ways to get in some good, old-fashioned exercise.

                  Stretching exercises are even more important than before since many people do not get enough movement while sitting at home. There are hundreds of at-home exercise, dance, and yoga videos that require little to no equipment, so even if you’re a beginner, give it a go.

                  4. Stress and Stress Management

                  Stress is a hidden danger that robs more people of health than even most doctors realize. While everyone has stress, not everyone recognizes it, nor do they have a means of managing it. Exercise is one of the best ways to release stress, with meditation and yoga being the best ways to manage and relieve stress. All of these will remove tightness in the muscles and relieve neck pain.

                  5. Accident or Injury

                  If you have been involved in an accident or injured yourself lately (falling down, or having something fall on you, for example) and your neck pain began after this incident, you should speak with your doctor about this as soon as possible.

                  6. On-Going Problem or Sudden Occurrence

                  Finally, if your neck pain is something that has occurred recently, it could simply be that you slept on it wrong or turned your neck too hard. That will make this a very temporary condition. You can try some easy stretches for pain relief .

                  An on-going problem, however, might respond better to some other alternative methods, including:

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                  • Slowly moving and stretching your neck. Do not move too quickly or too far. Roll your head from side to side, shoulder to shoulder, to the front and to the back.
                  • Ice packs work well for some people, while heat works best for others.
                  • Be aware of how you use your cell phone or tablet. If you keep your neck bent downward for too long to look at it, you can develop an annoying pain called text-neck or tech-neck. Take breaks and look up to stretch those neck muscles.
                  • Long hours driving can also be hard on the neck. Look from side to side as far as you can, as well as up and down to prevent a stiff neck.

                   

                  Still Have Tight Neck Muscles? 3 Tips for Finding Relief

                  When tight neck muscles are not responding to the typical heat, ice, or massage treatments, you might want to give the following a try:

                  1. Gua Sha

                  This is an ancient Chinese practice that might seem a bit odd, but it works for many people. In this practice, a trained individual uses a spoon or other object and makes short strokes down the neck. It is believed that poor blood circulation causes it to become stagnant, if you will, and blocks the positive energy needed for life, called qi.

                  Fresh blood will indeed allow oxygen and nutrients to feed the tissues in a given area, and one study found that gua sha worked where traditional methods, such as heat therapy, did not[2].

                  2. Swimming

                  You probably know that swimming is a terrific low-impact exercise that works wonders for those with back and knee pain, but did you know that it also works well for neck pain and tight muscles? It helps if the water is tepid and not cold, but even just floating on your back can offer tremendous relief since most of the body weight is suspended by the buoyancy of water.

                  3. Chiropractic Massage

                  Not your typical day spa massage, chiropractic massage is performed under the guidance of a chiropractor. A trained massage therapist will still do the massage, but this time, the chiropractor will have discussed your neck pain and any problems you might be having with them. Many people have found real relief from neck pain through chiropractic massage.

                  The Best Treatment for Neck Pain

                  When you need to find relief from neck pain and nothing you have tried previously seems to give you more than a few minutes of relief, spending some time with a chiropractor often times can fix this issue, and it doesn’t often return if you follow a healthy lifestyle.

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                  I’m certain that many of you are thinking about those awful videos with those loud cracking noises you’ve seen on social media, or you are recalling a news story which might have suggested that allowing a chiropractor anywhere near your neck might be a health hazard[3]. Nothing could be further from the truth.

                  You should try the other suggestions in this article before you head off to the chiropractor, but when all else fails, don’t let neck pain nag you day in and day out. Take steps to make an appointment, and you will be surprised at the results.

                  What Can a Chiropractor Do for Neck Pain?

                  Many people mistakenly believe that the only technique a chiropractor will use is a neck adjustment. Chiropractors are trained in a variety of methods that are designed to help you find the pain relief you are seeking.

                  A few of the methods a chiropractor might use include:

                  • Cervical Manual Traction
                  • Flexion-Distraction
                  • Cervical Mobilization
                  • Ultrasound
                  • Cervical Drop Technique
                  • Trigger Point Therapy

                  There are many more options, but your chiropractor should explain to you which techniques s/he intends to use and why[4]

                  The Bottom Line

                  If neck pain wreaks havoc in your life regularly, the best way to stop it is to identify the source and attack it from that angle.

                  Getting plenty of exercises, having a proper posture, and buying an office chair that provides plenty of support, as well as a regular stretching program, will keep your neck strong and flexible for many years to come.

                  More Tips on Healing Neck Pain

                  Featured photo credit: Christopher Campbell via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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