Feed Your Body to Boost Your Sleep
Sleep is an obvious necessity to maintain proper functions in the body. When people are not getting enough sleep, they are groggy, find it more difficult to balance, can become confused more easily, become more forgettable, make more mistakes, and even have slower reflexes. It also reduces the efficiency of the immune system and allows for people to become ill more often, as well as take longer to become healthy again.
While people regularly focus on routine, structure, and exercise to ensure they are getting enough quality sleep, there are also some vitamins that are key to quality sleep. They provide the body with what it needs to enter a restful state and keep the body feeling full over night, so people are not waking during the night to snack. Vitamins like magnesium, hormones such as melatonin, and others are supportive of quality sleep.
Choosing Foods to Improve Sleep
A good night sleep is necessary for a healthy body, and there are some foods that are better at encouraging a quality sleep, keep the stomach full overnight, and reduce waking during the night. These foods can be added to any diet easily.
Almonds are known for their sleep related benefits, mostly due to the high levels of magnesium and it’s ability to reduce stress hormones. They are also high in antioxidants that work to reduce inflammation and boost the healing ability of cells throughout the body. Combined with their high level of melatonin, this makes almonds, as well as other nuts, ideal for improving sleep. Melatonin is the hormone that the body creates to alert itself that bed time is coming and helps to transition from day time activities to prepare for sleep. Almonds help the body to prepare for sleep, keeps a feeling of fullness, and can reduce inflammation and pain that increase waking during the night.
While melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone within the body it is not always able to produce the needed amounts to properly support sleep. Turkey has a high level of not only protein to keep the body full, but also the amino acid tryptophan that boosts melatonin production. Some find that they sleep better after a meal including turkey and using it in lunches and dinners can help to promote the ability to fall asleep easily and to remain asleep.
Chamomile is one of the most popular sleep aids that are found in food rather than medication. It has been used for centuries in teas and has been included in many different skin care and other products for the other health benefits. It encourages healthy skin cells, supports the immune system, and calms stress and anxiety that may be interrupting or delaying sleep. It hosts the antioxidant apigenin that is known to cause feelings of sleepiness and fight insomnia.
Supplements and Vitamins that Support Sleep
Most foods that improve sleep do so because of the nutrients or vitamins that are present within. When these foods, such as antioxidants found in kiwi that affects serotonin to assist with sleep, tart cherry juice that has potassium and antioxidants, and walnuts that are a source of melatonin, are not readily available or accessible using a daily vitamin or a supplement can offer the same benefits.
Antioxidants support many functions of the body and help to promote both energy during the waking hours and sleep when it is needed. A supplement that is high in an assortment of antioxidants will support healthy functioning and ensure that better sleep is achieved. Look for those that have calcium and B vitamins that are needed, as they support the absorption of vitamins into the body and help them to work as needed. Calcium has been shown to support the REM stage of the sleep cycle and allows people to awake refreshed and well rested.
Magnesium is also necessary for quality sleep as it supports easing the body to rest and allowing the mind to enter the sleep cycles. When working with the other key nutrients it is one of the most important vitamins, and it affects each of the portions of the sleep cycle. Potassium is key to staying asleep, and B vitamins reduce the disturbances that occur during sleep allowing for individuals to stay asleep longer.
Fully nutrition offers a range of supplements that include these vitamins that are key to improving sleep. Adding one of these to your daily routine can not only improve overall health but will help to improve the quality of sleep that is obtained, also bringing all of the other benefits that come with quality sleep cycles.
Health Benefits of Quality Sleep
While quality sleep is often the goal, and desired by everyone, there are also many other health benefits that come from getting enough sleep every night. That is the time period in which the body does most of it’s healing and uses the low energy usage during these hours to recharge and prepare for the next day. Getting enough sleep, and completing the REM sleep cycles that are recommended, benefits the mind and body in many ways.
The immune system requires rest in order to combat the invasion of illness or bacteria that cause infections. Getting enough sleep regularly will help the body to remain healthy and provides time for the immune system to do the largest amounts of healing. As the rest of the body is not using the energy available, the immune system gets that boost and can fight illness faster.
Brain functions such as concentration and memory are also greatly improved when sleep is regular and in the right amounts. With eight hours of sleep each night the brain is able to improve connections and will be better able to process and retain new information. Test scores, memory, concentration, focus, and even reflexes are improved. This allows for people to safely drive cars, complete household chores, and remember the tasks that they need to complete.