Diet for a good sleep rou­tine

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - MY CITY - An­jali Muk­er­jee, nu­tri­tion­ist

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.