Tough time falling asleep? Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, one that affects almost 60% of people in the US. Most people are unable to obtain proper levels of sleep and that results in poor mental and physical health. Despite what you've heard, eating before bed is okay, as long as you eat the proper foods.
Drinking regular milk is not the right choice before bed or any other time because of its harmful ingredients. Another common assertion is that heavy consumption of turkey meat results in drowsiness, due to high levels of tryptophan contained in turkey. However, turkey meat has the same amount of tryptophan as other meats. Post-meal sleepiness has more to do with what else is consumed along with the turkey, such as carbohydrates. Eating a huge meal before bed is not a good idea and will contribute to weight gain.
To sleep better, it's important to eat foods that contain high levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that can't be made by your body. Consumption of tryptophan-rich foods is essential because it helps to make that vital hormone serotonin. Serotonin is associated with calm and sleepy feelings.
Here are some of the top foods to ensure a better night's sleep:
1. Nuts - Hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts, cashews and almonds are a good selection to help with sleep.
2. Legumes - Black beans, kidney beans, and split peas help promote better rest.
3. Bananas - Bananas are my favorite choice to help with my insomnia because they digest slowly in the body, which means that serotonin is released in the sleep cycle later. For that reason, bananas help not only to fall asleep but to stay asleep for a longer period of time.
The bottom line is that serotonin regulates mood and sleep cycles, and tryptophan is a crucial part of this process. Serotonin is essential for achieving a good night's rest, and the lack of it is often a major reason behind your inability to sleep well, if at all.
* There are many supplements, drugs and herbs that do promote better sleep, but there are side effects involved and I prefer to get some restful sleep as naturally as possible.