While an occasional sleepless night should not worry you, missing out long-term night rest is more problematic
Our 24-hour biological body clock governs the fundamental physiological and behavioral functions including from body temperature to eating habits in almost all organisms and, according to a study published in the Lancet Psychiatry, things like lower happiness, health satisfaction and worse cognitive function come with disturbances to it.
The study included data from over 91,000 participants aged between 37-73 years. The researchers objectively measured the rest and activity rhythm patterns that are known as relative amplitude. The results showed that lower relative amplitude was associated with greater odds of reporting lifetime history of major depression or bipolar disorder.
A disrupted body clock means that you are not getting a proper sleep, which results in a disturbed routine.
According to Healthline, after we eat, our blood sugar rises, which prompts the release of insulin in our bodies. In short, the neurotransmitters involved in satiation are the same ones who are responsible for making us drift to sleep.
Here are some foods that Marie Claire recommends to help you catch some sleep at night in order to make your days more productive and better:
1. Cereal: an hour before bed, you should get yourself a plate of cereal. This snack combines two components for getting some sleep. The cereal contains carbohydrates and the milk contains calcium. Oats are rich in melatonin, which relaxes your muscles and makes you feel sleepy.
2. Almonds: it contains tryptophan that has soothing effect on brain and nerves. They make for an easy portable snack and might help you get to sleep on a plane.
3. Bananas: they could also prove to be effective in making you sleep comfortably. They contain muscle relaxing magnesium and potassium.
4. Cherries: This fruit contains small amounts of melatonin (the hormone that sets your sleep-wake cycles) and specifically tart cherries have been found to help us to sleep longer.
5. Dark chocolate: It is in fact known to be one of the best sleep inducing foods. These contain serotonin that has a calming effect on your mind and nerves that help you catch up with some valuable sleep.
6. Pistachios: They have protein, vitamin B6, and magnesium, all of which contribute to better sleep. However, you should be careful to find those not too high in calories because they can have the reverse effect of keeping you awake.
7. Sweet potato toast: sweet potatoes are great sources of potassium, magnesium and calcium to help you relax. Top with a drizzle of honey and pinch of sea salt, or a tablespoon of nut butter for a post-dinner treat.
Finally, try to avoid caffeine except in the morning, because this may impact on your sleep. Furthermore, try to reduce your alcohol intake. Although it may help get you off to sleep, alcohol prevents you from getting into the deeper stages of sleep.
Latin American Post | Luisa Báez
Copy edited by Marcela Peñaloza