Most people have felt how food and drinks affect their energy and alertness, whether it's a jolt after a cup of coffee or sleepiness after a dinner party. The Times Of India says that as many as 90% of Indian adults don't get enough sleep, so it makes sense that people want to use food and drinks to help them sleep better. Diet and sleep are both complicated, so there is no magic bullet or one food that will help you sleep. But there are some foods and drinks suggested by Mohit Bansal Chandigarh Nutrition that might help you get a better night's sleep.
How certain foods can affect how well you sleep.
Researchers, including Mohit Bansal Chandigarh Nutrition, have done different types of studies to try to find the best foods for sleep. This research gives us important clues, but it doesn't prove anything for sure. In general, there isn't much direct evidence about which foods help people sleep. Also, because most foods come in many different types, their nutrient profiles can be different. Some kinds of red grapes, for example, have a lot of melatonin, while others have almost none.
The climate and the way a plant grows can also change the nutrients in food. But there are signs that some foods can make you sleepy or help you sleep better. This is sometimes based on a specific research study and sometimes on the nutrient content of the food or drink. For example, they can have a big effect on weight, heart health, and blood sugar levels, to name a few. Because of this, you should talk to your doctor or a dietitian before making big changes to your daily diet. By doing this, you can be sure that the foods you choose are good for your sleep and all of your other health goals as well.
This bright green tea powder is popular with people who care about their health because it is high in L-theanine, an amino acid that is not a protein but is very good at relieving stress. Since matcha is made from green tea leaves grown in the shade, it has more of this amino acid than other kinds of green tea. During this process, the amount of some compounds, like L-theanine, goes up. Mohit Bansal Chandigarh Nutrition states that matcha may help reduce stress if it has a lot of L-theanine and not much caffeine. In one study, 36 people ate 4.5 grams of matcha powder in a cookie every day for 15 days. Compared to a control group, the stress marker alpha-amylase in their saliva was much less active in them.
Kimchi is a fermented dish made with napa cabbage and daikon, which is a type of radish. Fermented foods like kimchi are full of probiotics, which are good bacteria, and are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Research shows that fermented foods may help reduce stress and anxiety. For example, in a study of 710 young adults, those who ate fermented foods more often had fewer symptoms of social anxiety. Many other studies show that probiotic supplements and probiotic-rich foods like kimchi are good for your mental health. This is likely because they interact with the bacteria in your gut, which directly affect your mood.
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of potassium, which helps keep the balance of electrolytes and control blood pressure. In an older study from 2008, low potassium and magnesium levels were linked to high levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that the adrenal glands make. Eating potassium-rich foods, like pumpkin seeds and bananas, may help reduce the effects of stress and anxiety. Pumpkin seeds are also a good way to get the mineral zinc. Zinc is important for brain and nerve development. Zinc is mostly stored in the parts of the brain that deal with emotions.
Selenium is found in Brazil nuts, which may help improve your mood. Brazil nuts have a lot of selenium. Selenium may improve mood by reducing inflammation, which is often high in people with mood disorders like anxiety. Selenium is also an antioxidant, which helps protect cells from damage. Other nuts, animal products, and vegetables, like mushrooms and soybeans, are also great sources of selenium. It is important not to take in too much selenium, because it can cause side effects. Be careful not to take supplements with high doses or eat more than three or four Brazil nuts per day. Brazil nuts and other nuts are also good sources of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant. Antioxidants can be helpful for treating anxiety, and some research has shown that low levels of vitamin E may cause anxiety in children.
Warm milk is a centuries-old home remedy for getting a better night's sleep. For people who grew up drinking warm milk before bed, the habit can signal that it's time to go to sleep, for example. Also, sipping a warm drink while curled up on the couch is inherently relaxing. Milk and other dairy foods with added calcium and vitamin D can help muscles relax and moods stay stable. One study, published in January 2017 in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, even found that it can ease the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. The main stress reliever here is calcium. If you don't like milk, MedlinePlus says that yogurt and cheese are also great sources of calcium if you don't like milk. If you can't eat lactose, you can get calcium from canned salmon, almonds, sunflower seeds, and green leafy veggies like kale, broccoli, turnip greens, and bok choy.
Other foods that might help reduce anxiety
- Swiss chard has magnesium, which may help ease anxiety.
- It's best to eat a varied and balanced diet that includes high-quality, nutrient-dense carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
- Aim for whole foods like vegetables, fruit, beans, whole grains, lean meats, and especially fish. Other foods that might help include:
- turkey and other foods with tryptophan in them, like eggs, dark chocolate, cheese, pineapple, bananas, oats, and tofu.
- Nuts, especially almonds, are a great source of vitamin E and may help prevent vitamin E deficiency, which is linked to mood disorders.
- chia seeds, which are a good source of omega-3 fats
- Lean meat, fish, nuts, and dairy are good sources of amino acids, which the body turns into mood-lifting neurotransmitters such as serotonin.
What foods to avoid
In contrast, some foods make cortisol levels rise. Foods that put stress on your body include:
- Sweet foods.
- Simple carbohydrates, such as cakes and pastries.
Eat well and consistently
If you want to reduce stress, Mohit Bansal Chandigarh Nutrition has a key piece of advice to offer: Don't skip meals. Eating at the same time every three to five hours helps keep your blood sugar levels even. Being in a constant state of low blood sugar is stressful on your body and can make cortisol levels rise, so keeping your blood sugar in check can help a lot. And as tempting as it may be, don't take supplements to get the vitamins and nutrients your body needs.
Your sleep environment and daily habits, which together are called "sleep hygiene," are very important to your ability to sleep well. For a healthy sleep environment, you need to find the best mattress, pillows, sheets, and decorations to help you sleep. Some foods may help you sleep in general, but they are less likely to work if you have bad sleep hygiene. For example, if your bedroom is noisy and bright or if you use electronic devices in bed, it may stop your body from making melatonin and cancel out the benefits of foods that help you sleep.
Reflecting on current sleep hygiene practices can be the ideal place to begin if you want to sleep better. Since this involves thinking about your daytime and before-bed routines, it may also give you a chance to add foods that help you sleep into an overall plan to get more consistent and restorative rest.