Nutrition for a Good Night’s Sleep
Researchers say those who are gaining weight sleep more, and those who are shedding kilos tend to get less sleep. It has also been seen that people who lose weight rapidly often experience sleeplessness. The most common causes of insomnia are mental tension, over excitement, suppressed feeling of resentment, overeating at night, excessive intake of foods such as starches, tea, and coffee, going to bed hungry. And of course, often worrying about falling asleep is enough to keep one awake.
Studies show that women are particularly prone to insomnia from calcium deficiency 10-14 days before their periods. This is the time when the calcium blood levels drop. If you are used to a mid-night snack and are now on a diet, you would probably experience sleeplessness. Have a low-calorie snack before going to bed, preferably carbohydrate-based like wheat or Bran biscuits, or 1 cup of warm skimmed milk.
Many diets urge the dieter to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. Those who are used to a lesser intake often feel the need to urinate at night thereby disturbing their sleep pattern.
Best Foods for Sleep
A good night’s sleep is important. If you have been on a very low-calorie diet, it is possible that you are deficient in B-complex vitamin, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. The sleep mechanism is unable to function efficiently in the absence of these nutrients. Some of the sources of these vitamins include whole-grain cereals and nuts. Here’s a list of some best foods for sleep.
Fruits are rich in potassium, which can cause severe cramps in the legs making it impossible to sleep, so avoid fruits at night. Similarly, maida lacks B-vitamins. To regain the lost vitamins and normalise your sleep pattern, eat at least 6-8 fruits a day, along with 2 cups of curd and approximately 50gm of dry fruit for 3-4 days. So, fruits make it to our list of some of the best foods for sleep!
Your diet for a good night’s sleep must include one salad-based meal and the other protein-based, comprising fish/chicken or sprouts (mug) along with whole wheat bread 2-3 slices or 2 chappatis. A cup of hot milk at night also helps induce sleep as it contains tryptophan (an amino acid), which helps increase the serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is known to be a calming factor.
Avoid fluids before bedtime
Avoid any fluids 2 hours before sleep. The stimulating effects of caffeine are felt more on an empty stomach, extending to about 2-4 hours after it is consumed. So, those who have trouble sleeping must avoid coffee 4-6 hours before bedtime.
Exercise & relaxation techniques
There are some who exercise at night. Usually, exercise is better for sleep, but do it in the morning or late afternoon. After dinner, you can go for a brisk walk. Try to relax before bedtime. If you’ve had a rollicking time at a party and then you come home and dash into bed, in all probability the sleep won’t come. Watch television or try to read something. It will help you take your mind off the excitement and make you sleep better.
Don’t sleep hungry
Eat low-calorie snacks like millet biscuits or 1 cup skimmed milk. If you suffer from leg cramps take your calcium tablet at night before going to bed. Never take a B Complex before bedtime as it keeps you active.
Avoid oily meals
Taking oily meals late in the night also leads to sleeplessness. Dinner should be consumed at least 2 hours before going to bed, in a relaxed atmosphere. A warm water bath before going to bed relaxed the nerves and helps induce sleep.