10 Foods to help you sleep like a baby
A good sleep gives you multiple physical and mental benefits. When you get enough sleep you allow your cells to regenerate, improving the appearance of your skin and also your intellectual capacity.
Upon sleeping, you free pent up tensions through dreams, you have less appetite and your immune system better combats infections and diseases. You even avoid gaining weight as your body produces adequate levels of leptin, the hormone responsible for limiting your appetite. There are foods that you should look to include in your evening meal, since they allow you to achieve better relaxation and help induce sleep, improving the overall quality of your rest.
- A good sleep gives you multiple physical and mental benefits.
- Upon sleeping, you free pent up tensions through dreams, you have less appetite and your immune system better combats infections and diseases.
Lettuce contains lactucin, a component that has a relaxing effect and helps promote sleep. A delicious salad with olive oil is an ideal meal to help induce sleep. Prepare your salad with lettuce, tomato, olive oil and onion. Onions contain quercetin, a flavonol with analgesic properties that, together with the lactucin, allow you to sleep better. To prepare the salad, wash the ingredients and cut the lettuce, tomato and onion. The amount of ingredients should be in proportions that mean all three ingredients are contained within each mouthful. Season with salt and olive oil to taste.
Turkey with vegetables
Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that is used to produce serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that produces a sensation of well-being and relaxation. The potatoes will stimulate the production of insulin, a hormone needed to transform the tryptophan into serotonin. To prepare this meal cut into slices 1 onion, 3 potatoes and 2 tomatoes. Add olive oil to the vegetables and add the cooked turkey. Pour half a litre of stock in which the turkey was cooked, add bay leaves and cook on a low heat for thirty minutes. Season with salt.
- Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that is used to produce serotonin.
- The potatoes will stimulate the production of insulin, a hormone needed to transform the tryptophan into serotonin.
Pasta with vegetables
Pasta allows you to sleep better because it contains carbohydrates that calm anxiety and have a sedative effect. It is important that you only eat a light portion of pasta, otherwise the effect will be the opposite and you will not be able to get to sleep. This is because carbohydrates are a heavy food when consumed in large amounts. Prepare a simple plate of pasta with vegetables without condiments. Cook the pasta by following the instructions on the packet, sauté some chopped tomatoes and season with salt. Serve the pasta with the tomatoes and sprinkle on some cheese before adding olive oil.
George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Yogurt with nuts
Yogurt, like all dairy products, contains calcium which is indispensable for the well-being of the your nervous system. Calcium helps your muscles relax and that is why its consumption is recommended before going to bed. A glass of warm milk or a bowl of yogurt with nuts will help you sleep throughout the night. Calcium deficiency can result in insomnia. By combining yogurt with nuts, walnuts and bananas, you will have a light meal that also provides you with melatonin, a hormone that helps you fall asleep.
- Pasta allows you to sleep better because it contains carbohydrates that calm anxiety and have a sedative effect.
- By combining yogurt with nuts, walnuts and bananas, you will have a light meal that also provides you with melatonin, a hormone that helps you fall asleep.
Oats contain melatonin and carbohydrates. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep cycles. It is the hormone that makes you fall asleep or wake up. You can make your porridge with milk and banana to increase blood sugar, insulin production and release chemicals that will help you sleep. You can prepare the oats soaked in water or cooked in milk. Prepare the meal according to your taste and sweeten with a little honey.
Banana and fruit salad
Bananas are tropical fruits that contain tryptophan, a substance needed for the production of serotonin. They are natural antidepressants and contain magnesium, an element that promotes the muscle relaxation necessary for sleep. They are rich in calcium and potassium. Potassium determines the contraction and relaxation of muscles. You can combine the bananas with apples and a little yogurt or with a glass of milk. Either will help you conquer insomnia.
- Oats contain melatonin and carbohydrates.
- They are natural antidepressants and contain magnesium, an element that promotes the muscle relaxation necessary for sleep.
By combining the benefits of lettuce, turkey and onion you will have a tasty and relaxing meal that will allow you to sleep throughout the night. To prepare the salad, you need grilled turkey breast fillets, lettuce, tomato, onion, salt and olive oil. Wash the vegetables thoroughly, cut all the ingredients into pieces, place the food into a bowl and then season with the salt and add olive oil.
- By combining the benefits of lettuce, turkey and onion you will have a tasty and relaxing meal that will allow you to sleep throughout the night.
Sardines and tuna for better sleep
Sardines and tuna are fish rich in tryptophan and it is recommended that you include them in your diet. Combining them with a lettuce salad is one way to enhance their sedative effects. It is important that you eat a sizable portion as you do not want to wake up in the middle of the night feeling hungry. Try to eat two hours before going to bed to make sure you digest the food properly.
Salmon with spinach
Salmon contains omega 3, an easily digestible fat and spinach contains iron, a deficiency of which can produce insomnia. Iron deficiency can bring about involuntary leg and arm movements during the night which leave the sufferer in a state of restlessness. If you increase your iron consumption you will have a sufficient production of dopamine. Dopamine is the substance that transmits messages to the brain and the central nervous system. With adequate production of this substance, the involuntary movements no longer happen.
- Salmon contains omega 3, an easily digestible fat and spinach contains iron, a deficiency of which can produce insomnia.
Rice is another food with a high carbohydrate content. Carbohydrates prepare the body for sleep. You should choose those carbohydrates that are absorbed slowly by the body, such as rice and potatoes. Rice with vegetables or a salad of rice with swiss chard are ideal meals to achieve a well deserved sleep. Infusions of valerian, chamomile, celery, lemon and lavender contain substances that induce sleep. Upon finishing your meal, enjoy any of these drinks and forget about those sleeping pills.
Paul Costello has worked for BBC Online and a number of regional newspapers in the United Kingdom. Since moving to Buenos Aires, he has worked as a sports journalist, travel writer and translator.