Are you tossing and turning at night? Do the stresses of your day keep you awake and leave you unable to fall asleep? If you answered yes to these questions, you are not alone. More than 50 million Americans do not get enough rest at night.
Sleep is an integral component of good health. Not only can chronic sleep deficiency lead to irritability and a lack of focus, it can contribute to significant health problems as well. Studies have shown that regularly getting too little sleep can lead to weight gain, increased stress hormone levels, hypertension and altered immune function.
However, before you reach for the latest prescription drug – try revamping your diet! Many foods are rich in the essential vitamins and minerals that contribute to helping you sleep better. If you are having difficulty getting to sleep each night, consider incorporating some of these foods into your diet:
- Bananas: Bananas are rich in potassium, which helps our muscles relax and magnesium, which is a mineral needed for quality sleep.
- Cherries: Tart cherries have more melatonin than any other fruit. Melatonin is the hormone that sets our internal sleep/wake cycle.
- Nuts and Seeds: Tryptophan is a sleep inducing amino acid found in nuts and seeds. Tryptophan aids in the production of melatonin.
- Sweet Potatoes: Like most easily digested complex carbohydrates, sweet potatoes help tryptophan to enter the brain. They are also high in potassium for muscle relaxation.
- Chamomile Tea: Drinking tea is linked to an increase of glycine, a chemical that relaxes nerves and muscles, acting much like a mild sedative.
Make getting enough sleep a priority for your health and well-being!