It's a well-known fact that many of us are sleep-deprived. And there's nothing more satisfying than a full night's sleep. Did you know we make huge sacrifices when we scrimp on sleep? The benefits of solid z's and enough of them are immediate. You wake up with energy, stamina, improved mood, attention, productivity and the list goes on. For long term effects, regular restorative sleep means curbing inflammation in the body, improve gut health, weight management, improve memory and even translate to living longer lives.
While there are numerous factors contributing to how much sleep you're getting (stress, work, kids, pregnancy, alcohol, chronic illness etc.), nutritionists say don't overlook your diet. Wellness experts have long touted what you eat and when you eat has a direct correlation to your slumber. Doctors and sleep specialists often report on the impact of sleep on your metabolism and hormones. Learn three important nutrients found in various foods you should add to your diet today to improve your overall sleep.
Magnesium is a very important mineral that the body requires to function properly. It's responsible for regulating hundreds of bodily processes and functions. So there's no surprise magnesium helps with insomnia, and other sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome. Magnesium plays an important role in deep restorative sleep by maintaining healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that aids in sleep.
Experts say men should get north of 400 milligrams and north of 300 milligrams for women per day. Magnesium is found in your water, chocolate and many other foods. Foods high in magnesium includes nuts and seeds (cashews, almonds, flaxseed), legumes (black beans, lima beans, edamame), and low fat dairy products (yogurt and milk).
Consuming a high fiber diet does wonders for your gut and your sleep. Fiber is linked to deeper, higher quality restorative sleep. It decreases sleep disturbances, less waking up and less tossing and turning.
Aim for approximately 30 grams of fiber per day to set yourself up for overnight success. High fiber foods include vegetables like leafy greens, kale, spinach, broccoli and carrots. Fiber is high in fruits such as blackberries, avocados and apples. Legumes such as lentils, kidney beans, quinoa and chickpeas are packed with fiber as well. If you are increasing your fiber intake, ensure you stay hydrated to keep everything moving well in your intestines.
Most of us are familiar with melatonin as a sleeping aid. Our bodies produce the hormone Melatonin to help regular day and night. When melatonin rises in the body, we get sleepy. Before you run to the health food store for supplements, check the produce section of your grocery store for melatonin inducing foods. Study show people with diets high in vegetables had a 16% greater concentration of melatonin in their urine compared to those who consumed the least amount of vegetables. This means vegetable lovers produced a significant amount of this sleep inducer naturally during bed time. Melatonin is found in high amounts in particular, grapes, cherries, tomatoes, oats and walnuts.
There is no short cuts to improving your sleep. A little bit goes a long way and maintaining good sleep health is a marathon, not a sprint. Include a good bedtime routine and avoid technology 30 minutes before bed. Get yourself in the habit of consuming magnesium, fiber and melatonin rich foods. These can be found in many nutritiously dense vegetables, fruits, legumes and some dairy. These super foods aligns well with your internal clock and will aid to regulate your circadian rhythm and promote healthier sleeping habits and deeper more restorative sleep.
Comments will be approved before showing up.