The Good Sleep Diet

Researchers are slowly starting to realise that diet and nutrition are pretty much linked to everything that goes on with our bodies, from our digestion to how well our brains works. How many of you can say that you consistently get a good night's sleep? Well your diet may play a vital role in this and certain foods can help you to fall asleep earlier and have a sound night's sleep...


Some studies have found that consuming plenty fibre can lead to more time spent in a deeper sleep, whereas a diet high in saturated fat can cause less sleep and a high sugar diet means more arousal during the night. In a study of 26 adults all at a normal weight with an average age of 35, scientists found that those on a diet planned by nutritionists that was high in fibre, high in protein and low in saturated fat fell asleep quicker. What does this mean? Make sure you're getting the daily recommended intake of fibre each day (30g) through fruit and vegetables, wholegrain carbohydrates and beans and pulses. 


Nuts are just great aren't they? Full of good fats, protein and all the rest, but did you know that they could help balance your sleep pattern? Nuts are full of melatonin, a hormone that helps to regulate your sleep/wake cycle. Other foods that contain melatonin are bananas, cherries, pineapples and oranges. 

Chamomile Tea 

Although there isn't much scientific evidence to back the statement that chamomile tea helps you to sleep better, it has been used for years as a herbal remedy to help aid better sleep. It is possible chamomile increases glycine, a chemical that relaxes the nerves and muscles which acts as a mild sedative. A study containing 34 adults who consumed 270mg of chamomile extract, twice daily for 28 days fell asleep 15 minutes faster and woke up less in the night. So if you're having problems sleeping there's no harm in giving it a go. 


Again, the idea that milk helps you to sleep is not backed by hard scientific evidence, however studies suggest that the tryptophan in it may help you to sleep better. The biggest factor to this food is psychological, remember being given a glass of milk before bed as a child? Drinking milk will remind you of a simpler time as a child when you wouldn't have the weight of the world on your shoulders and slept sound most nights. 



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