Sleep is a blissful reprieve from the stresses of everyday life – that is, if you can get any. Some people have trouble falling asleep while others have trouble staying asleep. But regardless of which afflicts you, dealing with sleep-related struggles can transform that sweet reprieve into a nightmare. The clichéd anecdote is to find solace in a glass of warm milk. But is it an old wives’ tale or does food really have the power to help regulate your circadian rhythm? Well, we like to think food can do just about anything, so we compiled a list of sleep-inducing foods for a better, longer and more beneficial sleep.
Fatty, cold-water fish, such as halibut, salmon and tuna, are rich in vitamin B6. This is vital to sleep because the body requires vitamin B6 in order to produce melatonin, a hormone that promotes drowsiness when day turns into night. This is vital for sleepers who have difficulty winding down after a long day.
TART CHERRY JUICE
According to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Rochester, tart cherry juice can ease the symptoms of insomnia. In a small study, researchers found that insomniacs that drank tart cherry juice noticed an improvement in their insomnia, while those who drank a placebo beverage reported none. It is thought that cherry juice, particularly tart cherry juice, is beneficial to insomniacs because it boosts melatonin levels making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
This magnesium-rich nut may be just what you when the sandman is eluding you. A study published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine found that magnesium is vital to sustaining sleep. Magnesium plays a crucial role in muscle relaxation and the deactivation of adrenaline. Magnesium is important to the healthy function of GABA receptors. GABA receptors are present across all areas of the brain as well as the nervous system. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps the body power down after a long day. If the GABA receptors aren’t in tip-top shape, your brain isn’t going to get the cue to chill and you’ll be stuck counting sheep all night long.
This calming tea is a classic sleep aid for a reason. Drinking chamomile tea has been linked to elevated levels of glycine in the body. Glycine is a chemical that soothes nerves, calms muscles and is a mild sedative.
Yogurt, or really any dairy product, is loaded with calcium. Calcium is vital to a restful sleep because it helps the body to use the tryptophan found in dairy to help trigger sleep. Tryptophan is important to the production of serotonin, which in turn is important to the production of melatonin, which is your body’s best bet for a lengthy, restful sleep.
This post originally appeared on RecipeGeek.com