I’m sure if you don’t have a problem falling asleep at night you know someone who does. Lots of people have trouble getting to dreamland because of everyday problems, stress, and even overwork. How many times haven’t I thought to just plop into bed so tired convinced that I’ll just drift off to sleep and once I have settled comfortably into bed – no sleep. I have a very active mind and once I start thinking the only possible way to get me to sleep then is to knock me out.

Well, you and I are in great company there are over 50 million Americans who keep the night fires burning. However, we must consider that there are quite a few health benefits of getting a good night’s sleep. So that got me searching for answers this morning because last night I finally dragged my tired body from the PC at 3:30 AM and somehow managed to drift into an uneasy sleep. This morning five short hours later at 8:30 AM I bounced up again like a Jack-in-the-Box and here I am at the PC again writing this. Well, you and I both know that five hours of sleep just isn’t enough and I should have had at least three more hours. So what is the answer?

Well, first of all, let’s take a look at the health benefits of getting a good night’s rest:

  • Sleep keeps a person perky and happy.
  • Keeps the brain sharp.
  • Keep your immune system strong and able to fight off disease.
  • Keeps a person slim and trim
  • Keeps the skin looking subtle and youthful.
  • It lowers your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.

The good news is that those of us who can’t sleep at night can be helped.  In order to be able to get a good night’s rest people should eat the right kinds of food:

  • You should eat more fish such as halibut, salmon, and tuna which can boost your supply of Vitamin B6. This vitamin is necessary for making melatonin which is a sleep-inducing hormone that gets triggered by the dark. Other foods which are a rich source of B6 are bananas, fortified cereals, and chickpeas (time to check out all of those hummus recipes you’ve been wanting to try),
  • Jasmine rice – This rice has a high-glycemic-index. What this means is that when you eat meals with high-Gl levels greater amounts of insulin are triggered and in turn, this increases the ratio of sleep-inducing tryptophan relative to other amino acids in the blood and lets more get into your brain. As a result, you’re able to sleep better.
  • Tart cherry juice – this kind of juice is a rich source of melatonin which helps to bring on sleep. In a study done with insomniacs when they drank a cup of tart cherry juice two times a day they actually experienced certain relief in the severity of their insomnia.
  • Sources of plentiful doses of calcium are milk and yogurt. Research has discovered that it just might be calcium-deficiency which makes it hard for people to fall asleep. Other foods that provide calcium are any leafy green vegetables such as collard greens and kale.
  • Whole grains – include barley, bulgur and others which have a rich supply of magnesium. This mineral will help to get you to sleep and help you stay asleep.

As for drinks that can help you fall asleep two of the best are a hot cup of chamomile tea or a cup of valerian root tea. These are sure to put you to sleep and if you need calming then some warm milk is the answer.

So as you can see it may not be so simple to just say alright I’ll try to get the right amount of sleep. There is a little work to be done before then. So eat right and get the proper nutrition and pretty soon you may find yourself sleeping like a baby. You’ll also feel a hundred times better and I’m certainly going to start doing things right.

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