All have experienced, lying in bed and wide awake, thoughts running in circles and not being able to get comfortable no matter how hard you try.
Insomnia or Sleeplessness are getting very common among mid aged people because of chronic stress and long working hours in offices. The most common cause of insomnia is emotional or physical discomfort. Insomnia leads to depression and anxiety which affects the mental and physical well-being of an individual.
It is often seen that people with severe smoking and drinking habits have a higher chance of getting affected. Many health advisors recommend taking sleeping pills to get cured but there are natural ways like changing diet to beat insomnia. Few changes that can be adopted are:
1) Regular Meals:
It is very important to ensure that you have regular meals throughout the day. It helps maintain blood sugar levels and energy remains stable which helps to avoid the ‘wired and tiring’ feeling at night times.
2) Avoid Full Stomach:
It is always advisable to have a light dinner and avoid getting your stomach full during the night. It helps in digestion and the stomach fells light and healthy.
A cup of warm milk and even yogurt are rich sources of tryptophan, a natural downer. It is also rich in calcium which helps relax your nervous system. It also aids in digestion and reduces constipation. So a cup of milk before sleep surely is very effective.
4) Alcohol and Cigarettes:
Often people find alcohol to aid in sleeping but it is not true. It affects your natural sleep rhythm. Cigarettes too contain nicotine which is a stimulant. People also tend to wake up multiple times to smoke because of its addiction. Thus drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes should be stopped immediately to avoid insomnia.
5) Magnesium rich food:
Magnesium is an essential mineral for relaxation. It relieves muscle and nervous tension that often comes with insomnia. It also helps in production of serotonin- a feel good neurotransmitter that is involved in sleep regulation. Spinach, beet, almonds, avocado, beans and nuts are highly rich in magnesium.
Several types of fish contains tryptophan like cod, tuna, anchovies. They help in improving the quality of sleep so fish should be eaten regularly for a sound sleep.
7) Caffeine to Herbal:
Caffeine is a known stimulant and changes sleep patterns adversely. Chamomile tea, green tea, lemon balm and mauve on the other hand helps soothes the body. Caffeinated products also have a diuretic effect on the body leading to increase in running to the loo all night. So tea, coffee, and aerated drinks should be avoided before sleep.
It is known that Bananas are rich in vitamin B6 and tryptophan. It also contains magnesium and potassium which helps in muscle relaxation, thus helping beat insomnia.
9) Omega-3 Fats:
These are healthy fats which are essential to brain health and help regulate sleep. These are found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel and seeds such as chia and flaxseeds. These fats help in production of compounds prostaglandins which helps promote and supress sleep. So a good intake of such fats is highly recommended.
10) B- Vitamins:
These vitamins are very important in energy production and sleep regulation. In particular Vitamin B3 and B6 are needed to produce serotonin and tryptophan which are neurotransmitters involved in restfulness, relaxation and sleep. Vitamin B6 sources are meat, fish, soybeans and walnuts while Vitamin B3 sources are avocado, figs, tuna, chicken, red meat and mushrooms.
Yes, you heard it right! Onions contain quercetin, a substance that is a flavonoid that have strong anti- anxiety properties. Thus having onions with your meals may help in calm you down and get a good sleep that you deserve.
12) Red Grapes:
It contains melatonin, a hormone that has relaxing properties and helps regulate sleep. It is often recommended to consume to get over ‘jet lags’. When its night time our body produces more melatonin to help us sleep and reduces the production in the morning. This cycle is disturbed by jet lag, and melatonin supplementation helps in regulating it again.