Diet & Nutrition

For a good night’s sleep

For good sleep: All you need to do is eat right   | Photo Credit: mail pic

When counting sheep to fall asleep fails, night after night, going to bed can become a nocturnal trauma instead of being a time to rest and recover. Sleeping badly can be anything from tossing and turning , waking up at midnight and unable to complete the sleep, insufficient and fragmented sleep and disturbing leg cramps at night. As we age we tend to sleep lesser.

Sleeping disorders are on the rise and may even be thought of as becoming almost an epidemic. The anxieties of the daytime following into the night, lack of relaxation, wrong food and drinks late evening, deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals are some that attribute to incidences of bad sleeping sequences.

Tryptophan and serotonin – first things that come to mind are milk and bananas. The soporific effect of milk (at bedtime) is an age old tested truth. The tryptophan, B6, minerals like calcium, magnesium, all suggested for sleeping well are rightly packed into a glass of milk. Add a banana to that and complete the recipe for a somnolent night. Milk is effective for those who have difficulty initiating sleep after hitting the pillow.

Vitamin B6— is required for making the hormone melatonin that induces sleep triggered by darkness (night sleep). Sources are fish, cherries, milk, curds, bananas, dals, whole grains. B complex vitamins are useful to prevent leg cramps at night. B1 supplemented to elderly shows improved night sleeping and reduced daytime dozing.

Carbohydrate rich foods– make one sleepy, day or night. If this sleepiness can be induced at night it can be to one’s advantage. Complex carbohydrates like oats, barley, ragi, with a glass of low fat milk at night make you slumberous. Whole grains are rich sources of minerals and vitamins that aid undisturbed sleep.

Magnesium, calcium and potassium – these muscle relaxants prevent leg cramps at night. Both banana and milk are naturally high in these minerals. Lack of magnesium is suggested in not able to going back to sleep after waking up middle of the night while calcium helps falling asleep. Other sources are green vegetables, nuts, whole grains and fruits.

Vitamin D – deficiency of vitamin D causes poor sleep. If you are tested low in Vitamin D 3, then correcting the lack of it may quite effectively help you sleep. Foods that cause heart burn - fatty foods, highly spiced dishes should be avoided late evening or up to 4 hours before sleeping.

Alcohol- though initially a night cap gets one drowsy it disrupts sleep, supplying only snatches of slumber at night.

Caffeine drinks taken late evening can prevent one from falling asleep since the effect of a strong cup of coffee or other caffeine drink lasts for almost eight hours, which would technically be all night!

Surprisingly, excessive doses of multivitamins supplements may actually keep you awake at night.

The best way to sleep well is to get those helpful nutrients by simply eating the right foods.

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 2:45:24 PM |

Next Story