Eating before you hit the sack is something no one recommends, but there is a valid reason why you should do that. Yes, you can munch on some sleep-inducing snacks for better shut eye. Dr Namita Nadar, head nutritionist, Fortis Hospital Noida, says, “Anxiety, stress, and depression are some of the most common causes of chronic insomnia. Having difficulty sleeping can also make anxiety, stress, and depression symptoms worse. Other common emotional and psychological causes include anger, worry, grief, bipolar disorder, and trauma.” While serious conditions may need medical attention, regular sleep can be managed with little tweaks to your diet. New research suggests that what you eat before you sleep affects the quality of your snooze. Dr Namita suggests a few foods that you can eat to sleep soundly.
1. Almonds: These contain high doses of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleeping and waking cycle.
2. Warm milk: It is a common home remedy for sleeplessness. Milk contains four sleep-promoting compounds: tryptophan, calcium, vitamin D, and melatonin.
3. The herb chamomile: Chamomile is a traditional remedy for insomnia. You can pick some chamomile tea from market and fix yourself a cup before hitting the snooze button. Researchers think that a flavonoid compound called apigenin is responsible for chamomile’s sleep-inducing properties. Apigenin seems to activate GABA A receptors, a process that helps stimulate sleep.
4. Walnut: These nuts contain a few compounds that promote and regulate sleep, including melatonin, serotonin, and magnesium.
5. Fatty fish: They help improve sleep because they are a good source of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, two nutrients that help regulate serotonin. Serotonin is largely responsible for establishing a fixed sleeping and waking cycle.
6. White rice: may be beneficial to eat before bed due to its high glycemic index, which may promote better sleep.
7. Honey: It helps you sleep because it contains glucose which lowers levels of orexin, a neurotransmitter that raises your level of alertness. One teaspoon of honey before bed is also proven to help re-stock our liver with glycogen – or the fuel we need to make it through the night.