What you eat and how you sleep are the most important factors that dictate how you feel throughout the day. And the two are closely linked!
Sleep and wakefulness are controlled by a series of chemical reactions in the body that regulate the circadian rhythm. Certain nutrients affect these reactions and thus alter the length of time until you fall asleep, how often you wake up at night and how you feel after sleep.
For example, we see cortisol as a stress hormone, but it is also a metabolic hormone released when blood glucose drops too low. Skipping meals, or eating many refined carbohydrates, will result in fluctuations in blood sugar and high cortisol. A bad eating day and a lot of stress means high bedtime and night, which will negatively affect sleep. Fortunately, certain foods can help avoid these conditions so you can sleep peacefully at night.
Following is a list of 10 foods that help regulate the circadian rhythm so that you have more energy during the day and sleep better at night.
1) Sour cherry juice
Visines contain high levels of phytochemicals that increase melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep and helps regulate the body's circadian rhythm. Melatonin directly affects your body temperature and sleep-wake cycle, so having optimal levels of melatonin in the evening is essential for sleep. And athletes love cherry juice because it reduces inflammatory markers that inhibit sleep along with improving melatonin.
2) Almonds and nuts
Almonds and nuts are another food that grow melatonin and contain a lot of magnesium, a mineral known for calming effects on the brain. Magnesium supports sleep by reducing stress levels and more efficient metabolism of cortisol. Magnesium soothes the central nervous system and is proven to improve the quality and quantity of sleep in those suffering from insomnia.
3) Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea has a sedative effect by providing apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to receptors in the brain that cause drowsiness. Chamomile tea also has flavones - compounds that reduce inflammation, support immune functions, and reduce anxiety and depression. Research suggests that chamomile tea calms the brain, which helps you fall asleep faster.
Kiwi fruits bring in another body useful for sleep, namely serotonin. Low serotonin levels are one of the reasons why people who follow a low-carb diet for a long time develop sleep problems. Better serotonin levels help you fall asleep faster and have a deeper and more restful sleep. In a 4-week study, adults who ate two kiwifruit before bedtime improved their sleep by 13%.
Known especially for the high content of omega-3 fatty acids (which support the release of serotonin), salmon also contains vitamin D, an essential nutrient for sleep; and chances are high that you have vitamin D deficiency. In one study, insomniacs who supplemented with vitamin D to restore their normal values, completely restored their sleep cycle.
6) Pumpkin seeds
These are rich in the tryptophan amino acid, from which the body makes serotonin. Compared to animal proteins, seeds, legumes and oilseeds are better at improving serotonin levels because they have higher amounts of tryptophan and lower amounts of other amino acids such as BCAA, so there is less competition with other amino acids to cross the blood-brain barrier. . That being said, there is evidence that high-protein diets can improve sleep, but it is recommended to be consumed throughout the day, not in large amounts before bedtime.
The fruit is known mainly because of hummus, this is also the ideal snack in the evening, being rich in tryptophan and poor in BCAA. Nausea is also a good source of complex carbohydrates and has good amounts of magnesium, vitamin B6 and thiamine - all helping to relax and sleep better.
Blueberries and other fruits colored red or purple, are rich in antioxidants that eliminate inflammation that negatively affects sleep. They also have a good dose of slow-digesting carbohydrates, which help in the release of serotonin and in relieving the stress of the day. Plums, pomegranates and all berries are good choices to be grilled as dessert in the evening or before bedtime.
9) Tea from the passion fruit
Passion fruit tea contains plenty of antioxidants that reduce inflammation, including apigenin, which has a calming effect on brain receptors. It may also support the secretion of GABA, a neurotransmitter that counteracts stress.
Bananas are a complex carbohydrate full of nutrients that have prebiotic fiber, which can improve gut health. This is important because 2/3 of the neurotransmitters that regulate waking and sleep are made in the intestines. Bananas also grow melatonin and are high in potassium and magnesium - a combination that calms the nervous system.