Last updated on March 29th, 2018
Healthy sleep goes hand in hand with healthy food. Check out these seven essential nutrients for better sleep.
It may surprise you but certain nutrients can play a significant role in regulating your sleep. If you want to spend a blissful night in dreamland, it is crucial that you’re fulfilling the right nutritional requirements.
Here are seven amazing nutrients that can help you sleep better. Try to include them in your diet to enjoy improved health and deep sleep.
Magnesium is a vital component for over 300 biochemical enzymes in our body. Magnesium is essential for many physiological functions including; hydration, energy production, muscle relaxation. deactivation of adrenaline and, yes, sleep.
Having sufficient stores of magnesium doesn’t guarantee a good night’s rest, however, having low magnesium levels will almost certainly contribute to poor sleep quality.
For all those who get cramps often or experience twitches and tightness in muscles or have cold hands and feet, sufficient quantity of magnesium in your diet will bring noticeable change in your sleep quality.
Sources of magnesium
These include soy products, bananas, dried apricots, avocados, spinach, whole grains, milk, almonds and cashews.
You must have always heard how critical calcium is for strong bones and teeth. But did you know calcium can also help you fall asleep soundly? Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin.
If your body has a low-level of calcium, you are likely to have disturbed sleep patterns and, particularly in the REM sleep phase as well. Normalization of your blood calcium levels can help to restore the natural course of sleep.
Sources of calcium
Yogurt, cheese, milk, dark greens, fish and citrus fruits are rich sources of calcium.
Eating carbs four hours before going to bed can hasten sleep efficiently. According to a study, carbs can boost two brain chemicals- tryptophan and serotonin, both of the hormones involved in sleep cycles.
According to research, including starchy carbohydrates in your evening meal might be a way to help you fall asleep faster.
Carbohydrate rich foods like whole grains and yam can affect circadian rhythms and induce sleep. Carbs create high spikes of insulin that will make you feel sluggish and sleepy. Remember your Thanksgiving dinner? It is not the tryptophan contained in the the turkey, but a change of insulin that slows down your body and makes you sleepy.
4) Vitamin D
Winter all across the globe means limited sun. But it is not just the warmth of sun that we miss in winters; we also get deprived of a vitally significant nutrient ‘Vitamin D’ with lesser sun exposure. Fortunately, we can also receive Vitamin D through out diet.
Vitamin D is very important for ensuring healthy sleep. A deficiency of this vitamin is directly associated with less and disrupted sleep. Researchers have performed an in-depth study to figure out how low Vitamin D causes insufficient sleep and causes excessive daytime sleepiness.
Sources of Vitamin D
Sunlight, oily fish, cheese, egg yolks, Vitamin D fortified foods
Selenium is a trace mineral so you don’t need a lot of it, but if your body is deficient in it, you may experience sleeping abnormalities.
Selenium is crucial for one producing antioxidants in our body, protecting our cell health. Selenium also is key for healthy brain and thyroid function.
So it is not just the disturbed sleeping patterns that are caused by the deficiency of this nutrient. Make sure your diet is selenium-rich because you don’t want to spend your night tossing and turning in bed.
Sources of selenium
Brazil nuts, shellfish, red meat, grains, eggs, chicken, liver, and garlic
Potassium is another important nutrient for those who are having trouble staying asleep. If you are not able to get quality sleep for a while now, try considering the inclusion of potassium-rich foods like bananas and baked potatoes in your meals.
A study in the journal Sleep reports that potassium increases sleep efficiency and also works effectively to reduce the episodes of waking after sleep onset.
The mineral also promotes heart function, reduces muscle contractions and spasms because eventually they disrupt sleep. Thus, if you notice any such symptoms that cause disturbance while sleeping, consider potassium supplementation.
Sources of potassium
Bananas, avocados, spinach, sweet potatoes, mushrooms
Tryptophan is the precursor to your body’s serotonin production. It is one of the amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins. Most importantly, it has a natural sedative effect which helps you sleep better.
In fact, it has enough potential to treat even the extreme sleeping disorders. Unlike other sleep inducing prescriptions which have several side effects, tryptophan offers a natural remedy for ensuring both sleep quality and sleep quantity.
If you take a lot of time to fall asleep, tryptophan-rich foods like fish, eggs and dairy products can heal this problem and can also work in a remarkable way to uplift your mood the following day because of a healthy and sound sleep.
Sources of tryptophan
Nuts, seeds, tofu, chicken, turkey, oats, beans, lentils and eggs
Overall, people who enjoy the most nutritious meals also have the healthiest sleeping patterns. So, make sure you lack none of these above-mentioned nutrients.
We want you to build a sleep-friendly diet including all these outstanding nutrients that can induce sleep efficiently. Sound sleep will undoubtedly get you ready to feel energized like never before the following day.
About the author
Lana is founder of Smart Health Kick, where she provide natural remedies, nutrition advice, fitness and more that make a real impact.