How to eat your way to a better night’s sleep

Mediterranean diet

The health benefits have been extensively researched, and a Mediterranean diet has been shown to help in all areas of health.

Basically, it includes eating large amounts of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains, eating moderate amounts of fish, eating low to moderate amounts of dairy products, and eating little beef and poultry.

It also means a high ratio of monounsaturated fats to saturated flats; It can be found in olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds.

Vital carbohydrates

There is a lot of competition for tryptophan to cross the blood-brain barrier, but including it in foods rich in carbohydrates, such as pasta, potatoes and rice, can increase its absorption. These foods raise the hormone insulin, which helps the absorption of tryptophan in a number of ways.

A combination of tryptophan-rich foods and carbohydrates may provide the perfect evening meal. Dinner meals for example include fried turkey with white rice, salmon with white pasta and pesto, and chili with rice or quinoa.

Ironically, white carbs are better than whole grain ones at supporting the transport of tryptophan because they are broken down more quickly and insulin secretion is faster.

Calcium

This is a mineral required to convert tryptophan into melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy, and research published in the European Neurology Journal has found that disruptions to sleep, especially during REM, may be linked to low levels of calcium. Make sure to include a good amount of calcium in your diet, with milk, yogurt, cheese, tofu, dark green leafy vegetables, beans and legumes, zucchini and canned fish.

magnesium

Magnesium activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation by binding to gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) receptors responsible for calming nerve activity. By doing so, it may help prepare your body for sleep. Magnesium also regulates melatonin, which directs the body’s sleep-wake cycles. Magnesium is found in dark green leafy vegetables, seeds, beans, lentils, legumes, oily fish, whole grains, nuts, and avocados.

Vitamin B6

This vitamin is involved in the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls the sleep-wake cycle. Most of us get enough vitamin B6 because it’s available in many foods, but it’s also easily depleted as a result of stress or excessive alcohol intake. While planning your sleep regimen, be sure to include plenty of foods rich in vitamin B6 to keep levels high, such as legumes, lentils, liver, oily fish, poultry, bananas, soy foods, beef, lamb and pork.

When do you eat before bed?

It all depends on the lifestyle. How much you eat at meal times and what body weight you are trying to achieve. It can be helpful to eat foods rich in protein and saturated fiber at night, because the evening is when most people wander into the kitchen for snacks. However, some may choose to eat lighter food in the evening, preferring not to feel full when they go to bed.

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