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How to Create a Sleep-Friendly Diet

How to Create a Sleep-Friendly Diet

There is plenty of evidence that the right foods can help you sleep better. Many of us have heard about this link between food and sleep but don’t know exactly where to start or how it works.  According to The Huffington Post the that most healthful foods to our bodies and waistlines, are the same foods that promote better sleep:

Go Food Rich in Minerals

Magnesium is a mineral that relaxes nerves and muscles. It also promotes healthy circulation. Several sleep disorders including insomnia and restless leg syndrome are associated with magnesium deficiency. Add these magnesium rich foods to your diet:

  • Fruits: Bananas, avocados, berries, melons
  • Leafy greens: Spinach, swiss chard
  • Nuts and seeds: Cashews, almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds; nut or seed butters
  • Beans: Black beans, tofu
    Whole Grains: Brown rice, millet, wheat and oat bran

Potassium is also something you should be aware of. It performs the same as magnesium but also promotes healthy digestion. Research has shown evidence of a possible genetic link between potassium and the “slow-wave sleep” phase. This phase is the deepest of our sleep cycle, the time when we get our most restorative sleep. Throw these items into your shopping cart:

  • Vegetables: leafy greens, mushroom, tomatoes and cauliflower
  • Beans: lima, soybeans, lentils, pinto and kidney beans
  • Fish: salmon, cod, and flounder
  • Citrus: All fruits, especially in juice form

Calcium is an important mineral as in plays a direct role in the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. Melatonin helps maintain the body’s 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. Of course, milk is a great source of calcium but these foods can get the job done as well:

  • Dark leafy greens: turnip greens, collards, spinach, mustard greens, kale
  • Nuts and seeds: Brazil nuts, almonds, sesame seeds
  • Soy: tofu, soymilk

Additionally, there are very few foods that contain melatonin itself but you are in luck as one of those foods is very common, cherries. There is evidence that cherries can reduce insomnia as they are filled with a significant amount of melatonin.

Don’t Forget to Take Your Vitamins

The best supplements for sleep are:

  • Vitamin B– Vitamin B3 (Niacin) has been shown to promote REM sleep while Vitamin B6 helps the body produce the calming hormone, serotonin.
  • Vitamin D –this vitamin leads to a reduction in pain and an improvement of sleep.

We all strive to do our best in all aspects of life, and as this great article points out, certain foods and vitamins can be a major boost to your sleep health! Sleep is to humans as gasoline is to your car, continue to eat right, sleep better each day and keep being your best you ever!

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