Guest Post by Sharon Walsh of BestMattressReviews.com *************************
Presented by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II
Adults need a full seven to eight hours of sleep every night to stay healthy, yet many people get far less. Stress, medical conditions, and poor sleep hygiene can all come between you and the rest you need. Sleep hygiene refers to those habits and practices that are conducive to sleeping well on a regular basis.
There are also positive interactions that occur between the sleep hormone melatonin and the foods you eat that can help you sleep better. The right foods help set your circadian rhythms so that when it’s time to hit the pillow, you’re ready to settle down for the night. Cirdadian rhythms are guided by our internal body clock. These cycles tell our bodies when to sleep, rise, and eat – regulating many physiological processes. The cycles are triggered by environmental cues, like sunlight and temperature.
Tryptophan – More Than Turkey
The tryptophan found in turkey is legendary in the food world for making people drowsy. While the sleep-inducing properties in your Thanksgiving dinner may have more to do with the size of the meal than the one slice of meat you eat, tryptophan does also help you sleep, but not in the direct way many people think. The body uses tryptophan to make serotonin and melatonin, both of which are natural hormones made in the brain that help set your circadian rhythms.
Tryptophan can be found in far more foods than turkey. If you’re looking for other natural sources, try adding these foods to your diet for an extra boost:
Walnuts: Walnuts are not only a good source of tryptophan but a natural source of melatonin itself. They make a great bedtime snack.
Seeds and Nuts: Pumpkin and squash seeds, in particular, provide a quick dose of tryptophan.
Cheese: If you’re looking for a healthy kick, try reduced-fat mozzarella or add something a little different like Fontina and Edam.
Calcium – Dairy and More
A warm glass of milk is more than an old wives’ tale. The calcium in dairy products and many other foods help the brain use tryptophan to make melatonin. Cheese, yogurt, milk, and even ice cream have the calcium your body needs to help regulate your sleep cycle. If you’re looking for non-dairy foods to get a calcium boost consider trying:
Spinach and Other Leafy Greens: These brightly colored vegetables are loaded with nutrients. Other greens like kale and collard greens also have high amounts of calcium.
Fortified Orange Juice: Calcium is important for many body processes. It just makes sense to add it to this popular breakfast drink. A quick glass of orange juice also gives you a dose of vitamin C.
Enriched Grains: Enriched grains and breads give you some versatility in how you get your calcium. Quinoa may be even a better choice, as it offers approximately 60-100 mg of calcium, not to mention a high amount of potassium, zinc and protein.
Develop Good Sleep Hygiene (Habits)
All your healthy eating may go to waste if you don’t develop good sleep hygiene. Your sleep environment can make or break your ability to get a full night’s rest. If you suffer from insomnia or need to get a few more hours of rest, try:
A Bedtime Routine: Not just for kids, a bedtime routine can trigger your brain to start sending the ‘sleep’ signals to the rest of your body. A warm glass of milk (remember the importance of calcium), a warm bath, writing the next day’s plans down in a journal, are a few ideas to get you started. You can include anything that helps you relax.
Cutting Screen Time: The bright light from televisions, e-readers, and smartphones can fool the brain into thinking it’s daytime, which means reducing melatonin and staying awake. Start shutting down your screens at least an hour before bedtime to keep your circadian rhythms in sync.
Bedtime Snack: While you want to avoid a heavy meal before bed, if hunger pains keep you awake, try eating a healthy snack. A handful of nuts, seeds, or cheese and crackers makes a good snack because they have ingredients that promote sleep. Raw almonds or almond butter are good choices as almonds contain 266 mg of calcium per 3 1/2 ounces.
Keep these sleep-healthy tips in mind in order to increase the quantity and quality of your nightly rest and have more energy in your days!
This article is a guest post provided by https://www.bestmattressreviews.com/
This natural health news blog is presented by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.