Beat Insomnia: Food and Drink that can Promote Sleep
If you suffer from insomnia, it can be useful to include sleep-inducing foods in your evening meal or just before going to bed. As a sufferer of insomnia in the past, I'm always drawn to articles like the one below, just in case it suggests something new to try.
A study at Northumbria University has revealed that drinking tart cherry juice (‘tart’ indicates less sugar) can increase the levels of melatonin in your body which can improve sleep (Metro Newspaper, A Cherry Good Way to Sleep, 2 Nov 2011). All you have to do is drink it twice a day.
I did think that it would be easier to just take melatonin supplement, but then I read the co-author Dr Jason Ellis’s comment: “although melatonin is available over the counter in other countries, it is not freely available in the UK”.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a chemical that controls the body’s internal clock to regulate sleep and not only do cherries have a very high level of this, but they are also one of the only natural food sources, as explained in an article by Melanie Haiken ‘5 Foods to Help you Sleep’ (source: Health Conscious Travel). There are also many other foods that contain melatonin and some also produce sleep-inducing chemicals as explained below.
Carbohydrates with your Evening Meal or as a Midnight Snack
Food containing carbohydrates cause your blood sugar level to rise and your body then produces insulin to bring it back down causing a sudden tiredness. Starchy carbohydrates like bread, brown rice, pasta or potatoes are a good choice to eat with your evening meal, as they also release relaxing brain chemicals – tryptophan (an amino acid) and serotonin (the happy hormone) along with the insulin, explains Helen Forster, author of Detox Solutions. This coincides with Melanie Haikin’s article where she suggests that toast is a perfect midnight snack as it contains carbohydrates (which gives you the tiredness you need a short while after eating it).Continued on the next page