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8 Great Foods That Help You Sleep Better And Stay Healthier

8 Great Foods That Help You Sleep Better And Stay Healthier

Having trouble sleeping? Your diet may be the culprit. Our sleep cycle and quality of sleep greatly depends on the types of foods we eat, and when our diet is improperly balanced, our quality of sleep suffers. The good news is it’s fairly easy to get back on track by cutting out the junk and consuming more foods that naturally induce sleep. Here are some of the best choices to grab for when you find yourself wide awake when you’d rather be sleeping.

Almonds

Almonds are the perfect bite-sized, convenient snack to chase away insomnia. Chocked full with sleep inducing and muscle relaxing magnesium, a serving of almonds prior to bedtime can help you fall asleep faster. When the body’s supply of magnesium is too low, it becomes much harder to fall asleep. Almonds are also full of protein, which stabilizes blood sugar and improves the quality of your sleep.

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High Glycemic Foods

The gylcemic index measures a food’s effect on blood sugar; specifically how fast blood glucose levels rise after consuming a particular food item. The Glycemic Index ranges up to a score of 100, and the higher the score, the faster that particular food item causes spikes in blood glucose levels when consumed. High gylcemic foods, mainly carbohydrates with a glycemic index score of 70 or higher, induce sleep because these foods cause rapid increases in blood sugar levels. This is why most people feel a sudden burst of energy then a sudden crash in energy when they consume carbohydrate-laden foods. Additionally, when the body experiences insulin spikes, it naturally releases more tryptophan and serotonin, two brain chemicals that increase relaxation.

A sleepless night is the perfect time to make use of this side effect of carbohydrate-laden foods. For optimal results, eat high glycemic foods about 4 hours before your desired bed time.

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Bananas

A single banana is sleep inducing powerhouse. Full of magnesium, potassium, and tryptophan, bananas have practically everything you need to relax and fall asleep faster during a restless night. The potassium and magnesium found in bananas functions as a natural muscle relaxer. The tryptophan found in bananas converts to melatonin and serotonin, two of the body’s essential calming hormones. Keep a few bananas at your bedside to keep sleepless nights at bay.

Hard Boiled Eggs

Eggs are the perfect sleep improvement food for people who have no trouble falling asleep, but find difficulty in staying asleep all throughout the night. The protein found in eggs levels out blood sugar and keeps it steady throughout the night. Eating an egg prior to bedtime prevents the blood sugar roller coaster that interrupts sleep at random hours in the morning. High protein foods like eggs also fights acid reflux, a disorder that often flares up at night, making sleep difficult for many sufferers. Keep seven or so boiled eggs stocked in your refrigerator to have a sleep inducing bedtime snack readily available each night of the week.

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Milk

Downing a glass of milk before bedtime is a tried and true classic for relaxation. Milk contains high levels of tryptophan, which acts as a sleep inducing sedative. Milk is also a great source of calcium, which helps regulate melatonin production. When you find yourself awake at night when you’d rather be asleep, try a warm glass of milk, and add some cinnamon to make it sweeter and give it a sleep inducing boost.

Fish

Eating certain types of fish for dinner can help improve your natural sleep cycle and the quality of your sleep. Fish such as tuna, salmon, cod, and halibut are great sources of vitamin B6, which the body needs to synthesize melatonin and serotonin. Both of these chemicals provide the psychological and physical improvements our body needs to sleep better. B6 vitamins also have an antidepressant effect on the brain, which can relieve depression and other mood altering disorders that can affect sleep. The B6 vitamins and other nutrients found in fish can preserve the body’s circadian rhythm, which not only improves your quality of sleep, but improves your overall health.

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Leafy Greens

Leafy greens like spinach and kale are full of nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium that individually induce sleep, so imagine the power of these nutrients when acting in unison. Several leafy green lettuces also contain lactucarium, which is a milky fluid-like secretion with sedative properties similar to opium. Incorporate a small salad into all of your night time meals to speed up the onset of sleep and enjoy a full night of rest.

Cherries

A single serving of cherries has enough power to naturally boost the body’s melatonin levels within an hour of bedtime. If fresh cherries are out of season in your area, frozen cherries, cherry juice, and even dried cherries should will work just as effectively at curbing your insomnia.

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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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