Many of us could use a bit more sleep. For some, getting a good night’s rest is more difficult than for others. If this is you, try consuming food which contains nutrients that help you sleep better.
Try these 10 nutrients that help you sleep better...
While sleep is something that all of us need, unfortunately, it is not something that all of us get enough of. Studies have shown that only 1 in 3 Americans receive their recommended 7 or more hours of shuteye per night. For many of us, this is not by choice. If you find yourself tossing and turning in bed, there are ways to improve the quality of your slumber just by changing your diet. If you count yourself as part of the majority of people who are running on empty during the day, you should be adding these 10 nutrients that help you sleep better at night.
This versatile nutrient is found in some of your favorite fruits. This bright red carotene and carotenoid pigment and phytochemical - found in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables such as papaya and grapefruit - has been found to not only improve sleep, but is also said to prevent heart disease and cancer.
Getting your carb fix four hours before bed can help increase availability of hormones melatonin and serotonin which helps you sleep better. Carbs like whole grains tend to spike blood glucose levels, but once those levels drop back down, this can lead to an absolute crash.
Fish such as salmon, halibut and tuna are an excellent source of Vitamin B6 which is one of the nutrients that help you sleep better. B6 is needed to make a sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin. Melatonin helps optimize your sleep by playing a crucial role in helping control your circadian rhythms – your natural cycle of sleeping hours.
This common nutrient found in dairy products helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan which also helps to manufacture melatonin. Researchers have found that lack of Calcium has the potential to lead to the absence of REM deep sleep.
This nutrient found in nuts, fish and black beans is well known for its ability to treat insomnia. Studies have shown that it helps decrease cortisol, the “stress hormone” which can cause sleeplessness, and can also help your muscles relax and produce a calm feeling.
A lack of selenium can contribute to sleep disorders. Eating foods high in selenium such as Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, oysters and chicken can also improve thyroid function, making it one of the most effective nutrients that help you sleep better.
A study conducted by Oxford University on children between the ages of 7 and 9 found that those who took daily Omega-3 supplements experience nearly one more hour of sleep per night and experienced fewer sleep disruptions. In a different study by the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine, Omega-3s were found to reduce the surge of stress hormones, which prevents restfulness and results in better quality sleep.
Vitamin B-12 is on the list as one of the top nutrients that help you sleep better because of its impact on your mental well-being. Lack of Vitamin B-12 in one’s diet has been shown to lead to depression, which is known to have insomnia as a symptom. It also assists with nerve growth and development and helps to promote calming effects which can balance your mood. Additionally, B-12 affects melatonin production, meaning that high levels of B-12 will cause you to feel like going to bed as soon as possible.
Found in large amounts in protein-rich meats as well as protein substitutes such as beans, lentils and nuts, Phosphorus is the second-most abundant mineral in the body. It is also the key component of a moleculeAdenosine triphosphate which fuels numerous biochemical reactions and larger functions of the body, such as muscle contraction.
Much like magnesium and calcium, potassium also has the ability to relax the muscles and nerves in the body and promote healthy circulation and digestion in the body. While bananas are often people’s default source of potassium, they actually aren’t the best source. Instead look to leafy greens, such as spinach, baked potatoes and especially avocado.