Not only does a full night of sleep leave us happier and with more energy in the morning, but also the better the sleep the healthier we will be. Lack of sleep can be a sign of more serious health problems. Luckily, overcoming insomnia can be possible by making changes to your diet. By increasing your consumption of the following fruits, vegetables and herbs you should start being able to sleep better, avoid unpleasant dreams and wake up feeling refreshed.
Although not a common breakfast beverage, drinking cherry juice in the morning has been shown to aid in sleeping. Cherries contain large amounts of melatonin that can help relieve insomnia. A powerful hormone, melatonin helps to regulate the body’s sleep and energy cycles. Individuals lacking enough melatonin will suffer from being constantly tired and not being able to get a full night’s of sleep. Additionally, try eating cherries raw to receive the same benefits as the juice.
In addition to containing high numbers of complex proteins that promote healthy sleep sweet potatoes also have large amounts of potassium. Potassium works to relax the muscles and induce healthy sleep. Consuming a sweet potato on a daily basis has been shown to lead to better sleep. It is important to note that the majority of nutrients are found in the skin of the potato. Therefore, eating both the skin and the filling is imperative to receive all the benefits of the sweet potato.
Bananas contain large amounts of the natural muscle relaxant ingredient potassium and they are a healthy source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is one of the most important natural ingredients in the production of melatonin. Consequently, increasing your body’s melatonin level may help aid people suffering from chronic insomnia.
Many people make the common misconception that only dairy products contain adequate amounts of daily calcium. However, kale and other leafy greens like mustard greens, spinach and collard greens contain large amounts of calcium. Recent scientific research has shown that individuals who suffer from a lack of sleep are calcium deficient. Consequently, eating leafy greens is an excellent and healthy way of increasing the calcium levels in your body.
Typically used in Asian cuisine, Edamame is a healthy food item that can be found at any US grocery store. Edamame is a soybean that can be eaten either fresh or frozen. The soybean is an excellent source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber and multiple vitamins. Recent scientific studies have shown that edameme may help alleviate the sleep-deprived symptoms of menopause. The soybean contains similar components to estrogen and may help prevent hot flashes at night that can disrupt sleep. Edameme makes an excellent bedtime snack and can be eaten raw, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt.
Similar to valerian, chamomile is a natural herb that has been used for years to treat many health problems from stomach distress to lack of sleep. Although commonly found as a tea, chamomile can also be purchased as an extract and even an ointment that can be applied to the skin. As a tea, chamomile helps to calm and relax the body. Chamomile has not been tested as a sleep aid on humans; however, the herb has been tested on animals and has proven to aid in restful sleep.
Valerian is an ancient herb that can be purchased as a dietary supplement. For thousands of years, the earliest settlers used valerian to treat symptoms of nervousness and insomnia. It is important to note that there are no scientific studies proving that the herb can successful treat insomnia; however, many sleep deprive individuals daily a daily valerian supplement. It is advised to check with a physician prior to starting any new herbal supplement.
Produced by the pineal gland in the brain, melatonin is a crucial hormone in regulating sleep. When an individual lacks the correct amount of melatonin in their body, he or she may suffer from insomnia and lack of energy. Melatonin can be purchased at a natural food store in supplement form as a sleep aid. Melatonin supplements have not been scientifically tested so it is advised to consult with a licensed doctor prior to purchase.