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Nutrition

Foods that aid insomnia

Find out what foods will help you beat insomnia the natural way.

Sometimes it's the little things or the big things, or just too many things, that keep us awake at night. 

Insomnia can affect us at anytime and the triggers can be different for every person who experiences it. Although there are prescription drugs available to help treat the condition, there are some natural remedies you could try to help get you to the Land of Nod. 

Foods may not act as rapidly as drugs, but there are certain food groups that could either be aiding or hindering your sleep. Here we look at the nutrients that could help you beat insomnia and get you a well deserved good night's sleep. 

Calcium: 

Have you ever heard that a warm glass of milk before bed will help you sleep? There is some truth to this old saying. 

Calcium isn't just for healthy bones - it plays a major role in improving your sleep quality by increasing the production of melatonin in the body. Melatonine - an antioxidant neurohormone - is related to the sleep-wake cycle and it is released in the body late at night to calm down brain activity. So if you don't fancy a milky hot chocolate before bed, try almonds, spinach or figs as they all have high calcium levels. 

Magnesium: 

Calcium and magnesium go hand-in-hand and it recommended that if you increase your calcium intake, your magnesium levels should follow suit. 

Magnesium works to close the calcium channels in nerve cells, meaning it reduces the amount of transmissions going to the central nervous system. So if your mind is running circles, magnesium could help you forget some of those troubles before bed. Stock up on leafy green vegetables, seeds and brown rice to boost your magnesium levels. 

Complex carbohydrates: 

You might think filling up on complex carbs is a good idea before exercise, but they are actually really beneficial for sleep too. 

Not only do they relieve hunger, meaning you won't go to bed with a rumbling tummy, but they are also low-glycemic. This means that they provide a more stable glucose store for your body that is slowly released. The advantage of this slow release is that your body won't experience any sugar or energy spikes and sudden drops which could be the reason why you are restless late at night. Whole grain bread and cereal is a fantastic complex carb so if you're feeling peckish late at night, reach for either of these. 

 
 
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