(Natural News) Good nutrition is one of the major contributors to overall health since it provides the body with the fuel it needs to function throughout the day. Moreover, it is also important in preparing the body for sleep.
There are a number of things that can affect how well you sleep so before you start popping sleeping pills that have harmful side effects, try to address the root of the problem first. If you think that poor nutrition might be interfering with your internal clock then see if the following tips can improve your sleep quality:
- Reduce alcohol intake — At least 20 percent of American adults drink alcohol to help them fall asleep. However, drinking it regularly can interfere with the body clock’s ability to synchronize itself by suppressing the hormone melatonin. It also increases the concentration of adenosine, a compound that gradually builds up while a person is awake to block chemicals that stimulate wakefulness. Because of this adenine-boosting effect, there is a higher chance that you would fall asleep at times when you are normally awake and be awake when you should be sleeping.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks — Caffeine is a naturally-occurring stimulant that is commonly found in coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, more than 85 percent of Americans consume caffeinated drinks daily. This can disrupt your sleep by stimulating brain activity, delaying your body clock, and reducing the amount of time you spend in deep sleep.
- Choose foods that help maintain serotonin — This brain chemical is more famous for its ability to improve mood but it is also involved a person’s internal clock. Avoid foods that are rich in sugar or are highly processed since they cause a sudden burst in serotonin that can significantly deplete stores over time.
- Eat magnesium-rich foods — Magnesium is involved in over 325 reactions in the body so being deficient in this can have significant repercussions on a person’s health. One of these complications is low serotonin levels, which can affect mood and sleep. To get your daily dose of magnesium, eat more green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. (Related: If you’re having a hard time sleeping, you may have a magnesium deficiency.)
- Increase tryptophan intake — To produce serotonin, there should be sufficient levels of tryptophan. This amino acid cannot be produced by the body so you can only get it from the food that you eat. Make sure that you have enough tryptophan by eating the following foods, cheese, yogurt, eggs, poultry, meat, fish, and nuts. You also need to increase your intake of complex carbohydrates like oatmeal, barley, and yams since these help transport tryptophan across the blood-brain barrier, which keeps foreign material out of the brain.
- Drink a cup of tea before bed — Tea has been used for centuries as a natural sleep remedy since it can induce a calming effect on the body that makes it easier to fall asleep. Based on previous studies, the six best herbal teas for promoting sleep are chamomile (which is most commonly used), valerian, lavender, lemon balm, passionflower, and magnolia bark tea.
What sleep deprivation does to your body
If you continue neglecting your nutritional intake, then you might start suffering from the following complications of sleep deprivation:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Poor memory
For more articles about the effects of good nutrition on health, visit Nutrients.news.