30th April 2019
Nutrition for better sleep means more than just avoiding caffeine and heavy foods at night. Sleep is essential ‘nourishment’ for both your body and mind and a vital part of the health equation.
55% of the population have difficulty sleeping or has restless sleep, while 43 per cent wake up feeling tired. Not only does a lack of sleep make you more prone to stress, but long term it increases your risk of poor health.
Nutrients play a key role in producing the hormones that aid sleep, and also ensuring the body is able to calm down. Certain foods and beverages could actually help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
Avoiding caffeine, at least after midday, is a no brainer because caffeine suppresses melatonin for up to ten hours. I recommend none after midday, and that includes green tea, if you have difficulty getting to sleep.
The main sleep hormone is melatonin and natural sources of melatonin include porridge oats, peanuts, walnuts and liquorice. The latest scientific research shows that kiwi fruits can help you to nod off as they are high antioxidant and serotonin (a precursor for sleep). A month-long study of 24 volunteers with sleep problems found they slept 13 per cent longer and better if they ate the fruit.
Bananas are also a great premed snack as they contain tryptophan a precursor for the sleep hormone.
Here ’s a delicious bedtime snack for you - bananas, toasted pitta bread, pecan nuts and honey - delicious!