Insomnia can have several causes but it can also be fought in many ways, starting from daily nutrition. There are in fact several products that, if consumed regularly, are able to promote good sleep quality, thus helping us to reduce stress and tiredness. If you have trouble sleeping, here are 10 foods that can help you.
Already in ancient times, nutrition was considered a real natural medicine, a useful tool for living better and staying fit. To stay healthy, it is essential to sleep well, setting a good sleep/wake cycle; even in this case, a good dietary regime can be of great help. There are numerous products that, by stimulating melatonin, help our nervous system – but also the digestive system – helping us to fight problems of insomnia and/or bad rest. Let’s see 10 of them, between great certainties and curious surprises.
Dried fruit, a fundamental element for those who love to stay fit through a balanced diet, can also help us sleep better. Walnuts in particular are rich in magnesium and Omega 3 which naturally increase the levels of melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep/wake cycle. So, not surprisingly, doctors and proverbs recommend consuming three walnuts a day.
A bit like walnuts, almonds contribute not only to the production of melatonin but also promote natural energy metabolism because they are exceptional sources of magnesium. A well-functioning energy metabolism promotes muscle relaxation and therefore better rest.
Oats are a highly digestible cereal, rich in calcium and magnesium, but also a natural source of melatonin. Mineral salts promote muscle relaxation and, if consumed regularly, oats can have a balancing effect on the nervous system helping us to relax and sleep better. Particularly recommended for those who do a very stressful mental job or for those who suffer from light forms of anxiety that make rest difficult.
Among the fruits that can help us sleep better there are peaches, bananas, apples and apricots. Apricots, both fresh and dried, contain excellent levels of potassium, bromine and vitamin B and are considered the calming fruit par excellence; peaches are also excellent allies against insomnia thanks to the presence of magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3) that has a sedative effect. Bananas contain vitamin B, tryptophan and magnesium and for this reason they help the production of serotonin that helps to regain mental balance and sleep better. The apple is the perfect fruit for dinner because it is light, easily digestible and diuretic.
Lettuce helps us to "stay light"; it is rich in water, mineral salts and vitamins and for this reason it has a purifying effect that makes us going to sleep peacefully and deflated. Recommended both raw and cooked for dinner due to the presence of the lactucarium, a substance that can have sedative and relaxing effects.
Rice is considered a good food to help sleeping for two reasons; on the one hand it is a highly light and digestible cereal, a food that consumed at dinner does not leave us with an annoying sensation of "heaviness" that could make rest difficult; on the other hand, rice has a high glycemic index which stimulates the production of tryptophan, a protein which in turn promotes the activity of serotonin, helping us to achieve muscle relaxation and a feeling of well-being.
7. Aromatic herbs
Basil, marjoram and oregano can help us relax and sleep better. Basil has digestive and relaxing effects, excellent for those suffering from problems with the digestive system and unable to sleep; marjoram has a sedative and antineuralgic impact, recommended for those with difficult sleep. Oregano can promote sleep because it has a calming effect, so much so that it is one of the recognized herbal remedies.
8. Fresh cheeses
Milk, yogurt and low-fat cheeses can help activate serotonin and, unless you are lactose intolerant, they are easily digestible. They are good sources of tryptophan and – of course – calcium; therefore they help reduce stress and fatigue. The same does not apply to aged cheeses which can make digestion difficult and not help us sleep soundly, especially if eaten in the evening.
Cabbage promotes a good sleep/wake rhythm and helps us to rest because it is rich in mineral salts (especially potassium), vitamins and folic acid; the latter in fact helps relaxation and the proper functioning of the nervous system. Cabbage should never be missing from our diet because it has a high purifying and diuretic power; it is therefore particularly suitable for those who, due to stress or digestive difficulties, find it hard to fall asleep.
10. Herbal teas
The best way to end a stressful day is to sip a good hot herbal tea which, by promoting relaxation and digestion, helps you sleep and rest well. Which to choose? In addition to a more classic chamomile tea, if you suffer from insomnia try a herbal tea with lime, hawthorn or lemon balm, also excellent for fighting stress and nervousness.