Foods and Beverages that Naturally Aid Sleep

There are many ways we can see sheep in our dreams at night. One of the best ways to promote healthy, quality sleep is by making the right dietary choices. Certain foods contain nutrients that help us to improve the quality of sleep, avoid insomnia, wake up more refreshed, and help to prevent sleep disorders such as GERD and sleep apnea.

The following foods naturally promote better sleep contain substances that enable the body to produce melatonin, a hormone that regulates our sleep and wake patterns. Melatonin production helps us maintain a healthy sleep cycle so the body naturally knows when to sleep and is alert when awake:

1. Tryptophan
This is an amino acid helps to facilitate production of the hormone melatonin, which helps to prevent sleep apnea. We can get this amino acid from dairy products, poultry (i.e, turkey and chicken), seafood, nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits, vegetables and grains. It is advisable we eat foods that are loaded with tryptophan later in the day to avoid insomnia.

2. Magnesium
This is a dominant mineral acts as a natural relaxant and deactivates adrenaline. Magnesium helps us to go and stay asleep, also preventing muscle spasms. Magnesium is commonly touted as a sleep mineral. The best sources of magnesium to use before going to sleep are dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, wheat germ, fish, soybeans, banana, avocados and yogurt.

3. Calcium
Adequate calcium intake helps the brain produce enough melatonin. Diets rich in calcium help us to avoid lack of sleep, and also helps us to quickly go back to sleep even after waking up in the middle of the night. Foods such as dark leafy greens, low-fat milk, cheeses, yogurt, sardines, fortified orange juice, and broccoli are rich in calcium. Intake of foods rich in calcium also help to prevent sleep apnea and GERD.

4. Vitamin B6
B6 also promotes the production of melatonin to ensure quality sleep. B6 also prevents symptoms of depression and mood disorders, which can bring about insomnia. Sunflower seeds, flaxseed, fish, bananas, avocado and spinach, are some of the highest sources of Vitamin B6.

5. Vitamin C
Consuming foods rich in vitamin C can help to prevent GERD, which may cause discomfort while sleeping and interrupts slumber. The primary sources of vitamin C include almost all fruits and vegetables. Kiwi, melons, and citrus fruits are all excellent sources of vitamin C.

6. Sleep promoting beverages
Many drinks are also essential for rest, especially if they contain essential minerals and vitamins that help achieve quality shuteye, such as:
• Warm milk
• Almond milk
• Chamomile tea
• Passion fruit tea
• Peppermint tea
• Valerian tea