Are Eating Habits Affecting Your Sleep? from Natural News

By Helen Thomas, an independent writer who writes about the natural health benefits of food, alternative medicine and natural home remedies | Courtesy of

Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II *********************************************

The best and worst foods to promote sleep

Let me ask you a question, when was the last time you enjoyed a really good night’s rest? For many, they may need to really think about that answer. The reason is according to the National Sleep Foundation found that almost 40 million Americans suffer from some sort of sleep disorder. In addition, lack of sleep affects women more than men. However at this time it is unclear why females experience more sleepless nights than their male counterparts.

Nonetheless, lack of sleep is a very serious issue that can lead to depression, increased stress levels, irritability, mood swings, weight gain and slowness of response time. So let’s take a closer look at what can be done to prevent you from becoming one of the 40 million sleep-deprived individuals.

The first step is the make the decision that you will avoid taking medications to get more sleep. The reason is simple, you don’t want to rely on, either physically or mentally, a drug or OTC (over the counter) medicine. Instead let’s focus on making simple eating changes to help you restore your sleep.

Avoid Certain Foods

It’s true that certain types of food can keep you awake at night. These include:

  • Alcohol
  • Coffee, pop or soda
  • Spicy foods
  • Dark chocolate
  • Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, etc.)

These types of foods place stress on your body and when your body is stressed it can’t function properly. In addition, if your body begins to function improperly, it not only increases the stress level but the imbalance will also increase.

The foods on the above list should be consumed at least five hours before you go to bed. This gives your body enough time to absorb and then eliminate any remaining components.  Also, the consumption of spicy foods should be done either at breakfast or lunch. This will allow enough time for complete digestion. In addition, fried foods also need time to be fully digested and eliminated, too.

Foods to Consume

Here are some of the top food choices to add to your diet to help improve your sleep patterns and avoid insomnia.

  • Plain ole drinking water
  • Protein-based foods (egg, meat, etc.)
  • Greens and vegetables
  • Tart Cherry Juice

In regards to the last one, tart cherry juice, this is one drink you should enjoy on a regular cherry juice sleep basis. Not only is it a good source of water, it is a natural source of melatonin. The best way to make tart cherry juice is to mix one ounce of tart cherry juice concentrate with seven ounces of water to make one eight ounce glass. One glass provides a good amount of water. However, in addition to the water the one ounce of the concentrate is packed with almost 150 nanograms (15% of a gram) of naturally occurring melatonin.

The presence of the melatonin will help you sleep better, but it is also a powerful antioxidant that will help to fight free radicals in the body.  (Definition from Nutrition Breakthroughs: an antioxidant can protect tissues from the damage caused by oxygen in the body.  The natural processes of digestion, as well as consuming unhealthy foods and drinks, can create excess oxygen.  A free radical is an unstable molecule that attacks other molecules and plays a major role in the aging process and degenerative diseases).

So, with the diluted tart cherry juice you’ll be getting a triple dose of benefits. You’ll be getting more water into your diet. You’ll be enjoying a better night’s sleep and will fight insomnia — while also giving your body the added antioxidants to free the disease causing free-radicals.

Regarding protein, a recently published study indicated that individuals who experienced less sleep ate less protein, were overweight, and didn’t take a daily dose of vitamins and minerals. This information was compared to people with normal sleeping patterns.

Also, another study revealed that people who usually got five to six hours of sleep per night drink less water and ate more fatty foods than a normal sleeper.

Finally, a normal sleeper with the longer sleep time, consumed more protein, drank more water and was not overweight. This simply means that taking care of yourself, drinking water and watching what you eat will have a positive impact on your overall length and quality of sleep. Also, adding a glass of tart cherry juice concentrate probably can’t hurt either.

magnesium benefitsComments from Nutrition Breakthroughs: Other minerals and foods proven to help with better sleep include magnesium, calcium, potassium, walnuts, almonds, bananas, fish oils and salmon.

Eating more vegetables can also increase melatonin levels in the body.  One Japanese study tracked consumption of vegetables such as tomato, pumpkin, spinach, Japanese radish, cabbage, carrot, etc., and discovered there was 16% more melatonin in the women with the highest vegetable intakes.

This health news is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.

Article source:

4 Ways to Vastly Improve Sleep Quality – From Natural News

improve sleep quality, fall asleepBy Angela Doss

(NaturalNews) Too much stress and too little sleep is the fool-proof recipe for declining long-term health — including a weakened immune system, impaired cognitive/memory function, heart disease, mood disorders, and premature aging, among others. And it’s a true, albeit unfortunate, story for too many these days.

Most people require between eight and ten hours of sleep each night, but they are far from getting it. Even those who do achieve close to that amount of sleep still may not feel fully rested and alert. For a good night’s rest that leads to optimum functioning and alertness, the following best practices can help.

Create a sleep sanctuary

Today’s widespread use of electric lights so disrupt the body’s natural circadian life rhythms that, when it’s time for sleeping, you should do so in complete darkness. Even a small amount of light can penetrate the optic nerve and thereby trigger the pineal gland which regulates the production of melatonin, a hormone involved in the body’s waking and sleeping patterns. For this reason, wearing a sleeping mask or installing black-out drapes over windows may prove essential to achieving the best quality rest possible. No light should enter the room. Night-lights should be avoided when possible, and clocks or clock-radios should be covered to prevent glow.

Consider the room’s temperature too. Scientists favor cooler temperatures, observing that they appear more harmonious with a person’s natural temperature drop, which brings the body to its lowest temperature just a few hours after falling asleep. Somewhere between 60 and 68 degrees is ideal, but temperatures higher than 70 degrees are not recommended. Wearing socks to bed can also help increase the cozy factor, while encouraging uninterrupted rest. Remember, too, that your bedroom is a sanctuary, and mixing television, work or other non-sleep-related activities can make the environment less conducive to sleeping.

Manage food and fluid intake

Watching what you eat and drink before bedtime can make the difference in a restful night’s sleep. Balance your fluid intake before bedtime in a way that allows you to be hydrated without having to wake up during the night to visit the restroom. Depending on your particular tolerance, alcohol, caffeine and other drugs (prescription and over-the-counter alike) may cause sleep disturbances and should be limited, or even avoided altogether.

Caffeine is not metabolized efficiently and its effects can linger in the body; whereas alcohol’s drowsy effects wear off quickly, causing you to wake and have difficulty falling asleep again. It may also prevent you from entering the deeper stages of sleep, where most healing occurs.

Eat only a light meal for dinner, avoiding foods to which you might be sensitive, like sugar, grains and pasteurized dairy, as they can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, gas, and congestion. Late night snacks are not recommended, due to their tendency to elevate blood sugar, delay sleep and encourage a hypoglycemic effect during the night.

Stick to a routine

Set a bedtime routine, and start early. This may include a relaxing activity, like taking a hot bath, sitting in a sauna, getting a massage or reading a light book (nothing too stimulating). Whatever your pleasure, be sure you’re in bed early to best support your body and even maximize its natural detoxification processes. Staying up late can cause toxins to back up into the liver, whereas the hours before midnight are most beneficial for healing. Being in bed by 9 p.m. each night is recommended.

Wake up naturally

If you must use an alarm clock to wake, avoid those with harsh or loud alarms. The body does best when it is woken from slumber easily and naturally — meaning when it is rested — rather than startled out of deep dreaming by the sudden stress of an obnoxious alarm. When your sleep is truly restful, using an alarm to wake up may no longer be necessary. Establishing a consistent bedtime and waking time (meaning weekends too) can assist your body in achieving a healthy rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up naturally each morning.


Article Source: