Diet for a good sleep routine
We rarely think that correcting our diet has any impact on our quality of sleep. It’s important to know that making the right food choices gives us the energy to complete our tasks. Not only that, it also strengthens our immune system, improves memory, repairs our bones, tissues, heals wounds and makes us live energetically.
Our body functions according to a 24-hour cycle of light and dark, called the circadian rhythm. This daily mechanism regulates the secretion of melatonin in our body. This hormone helps to keep our bodies in sync with the rhythms of day and night, and in turn, regulate our sleep pattern.
Research has indicated that many age-related problems may be caused by declining levels of melatonin (an antioxidant). Melatonin also has been found to stimulate the immune system; have a major role in the production of oestrogen, and testosterone, in prevention of certain cancers; and even slowing the growth of existing malignancies. Besides promoting an optimal sleep pattern, melatonin has been shown to be one of the most potent antioxidants, protecting our body from free radical damage. The melatonin level has also shown to affect cardiovascular function and menstruation.
Here are a few simple ways to help your body maintain optimum levels of melatonin naturally for a better sleep, delayed ageing and overall well being: Adopt a disciplined eating pattern. Having meals at regular intervals help as it strengthens the rhythm of melatonin production. Have light dinners. When melatonin production begins after nightfall, the digestive process is slowed. Thus, any heavy foods eaten close to bedtime may lead to enhanced digestive problems, which can make it difficult to sleep. It is advisable to have small, light meals of soup, vegetables or grilled chicken with wheat breads for dinners. Melatonin is present in many foods and eating foods rich in natural melatonin can raise melatonin levels in the bloodstream. Oats, barley, sweet corn, and rice are the best sources of melatonin. Ginger, tomatoes, bananas, and barley also contain small amounts of it.
Adopt healthy habits such as sleeping in comfortable clothes, in a room with adequate ventilation and complete darkness for better melatonin production.
Avoid stimulants such as coffee, tea, and caffeinecontaining medications, and colas as these interfere with the body’s melatonin production
Having a glass of milk at bedtime helps you sleep better