Tired or scared of the cost and side effects of sleep medicine? In the mood for a snack? We have a few suggestions just for you! These 10 food items are said to be effective in your battle with sleep deprivation and insomnia and convenient to grab at your local grocery store.
1. Nutmeg can act as a sedative. Steep half of a crushed nutmeg (no more than that) in hot water for 10 minutes, and drink it a half-hour before bedtime. If you don’t like the taste of it, you can use nutmeg oil externally by rubbing it on your forehead.
2. A glass of elderberry juice, at room temperature, is thought of as a sleep inducer. You can get pure elderberry concentrate at health food store. Just dilute it, drink it and hit the hay.
3. Choose protein foods that are rich in an amino acid called tryptophan. This helps boost the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Chicken and turkey, milk and dairy, nuts and seeds are all good choices. Combine these with rice, pasta or potatoes to help the body get the most benefits from tryptophan.
4. Cherries are one of the few natural foods to contain melatonin, the chemical that helps control our body’s internal clock. One study found that drinking tart cherry juice resulted in small improvements in rest duration throughout your sleep cycle and quality in adults who suffered from chronic insomnia.
5. Carbs in general are good for insomnia but it’s not a great idea to binge on a box of cookies before bedtime (or anytime). Instead, try a bowl of Kashi or shredded wheat which contain “good” or complex carbs. Even better, cereal goes well with milk which has its own sleep-promoting qualities.
6. Bananas help promote sleep because they contain the natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium. They’re also carbs which will help make you sleepy as well. In fact, bananas are a win-win situation in general.
7. Sweet potatoes are a sleeper’s dream. Not only do they provide sleep-promoting complex carbohydrates, they also contain that muscle-relaxant potassium. Other good sources of potassium include regular potatoes (baked and keep the skin on), lima beans, and papaya.
8. The root of the valerian plant has been shown in some studies to speed the onset of sleep and improve quality of rest. Some people hold that valerian tea along with motherwort, chamomile, and catnip brews, none of which contain caffeine, will help make you drowsy. It may not be any property of the actual tea however, but the power of the relaxing ritual as you get ready for bed.
9. This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour, found research from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
10. Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep cycle. Adults who ate two or more soy servings a day slept longer and reported the best-quality sleep, according to a 2015 Nutrition Journal study.
Our last tip is to aim to eat your main meal earlier in the evening – the act of eating pushes up the body’s core temperature and this can disrupt sleep so eat your evening meal at least 4 hours before retiring for the day. We hope that you have success with these ‘best sleep aid’ foods. Have a good night’s rest!
There are millions of people all over the world struggling with depression, anxiety and stress. Sometimes they are brief moments or day but for others it’s a daily situation. If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to take medications in fear it may make the symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress more severe. Some would rather take a more holistic approach to these issues to avoid harmful side effects from prescription medication. Here are a few easy helpful hints to help ease the depression, anxiety and stress naturally:
1) Eat a healthy diet including fresh fruits, vegetables, and omega three fatty acids. Avoid foods with lots of caffeine and sugar. One great way to chase the blues away is two ripe bananas a day . Bananas contain the chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine, which are believed to help prevent depression.
2) Acupressure away the pressure of the day by getting a firm grip on your ankle. Using your thumb and third finger, place one just below the inside of your anklebone, and the other finger on the indentation directly below your outer anklebone. Keep steady pressure on the spot as you count down from 100 to one, slowly. This is a great way to help relieve stress.
3) Regular exercise can be as effective at treating depression as medication. Not only does exercise boost serotonin, endorphins, and other feel-good brain chemicals, it triggers the growth of new brain cells and connections, just like antidepressants do.
4) Our daily environment and our relationships have a strong association with depression. One example is seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which can be treated with bright lights.
5) Get quality sleep: it may sound like trite advice, but this is essential… Getting the right amount of high quality sleep is a key step in managing anxiety disorder. One practice that helps is creating a tech free hour right before you go to bed. Turn off the TV, computer and your phone. Read, meditate, journal, have a cup of herbal tea. Relax. Set up a healthy routine and repeat it night after night until it is habit.
Anxiety, depression and stress are horrible conditions, but it is possible to win the battle without medication. Sometimes, overcoming worry and nervousness is simply a matter of modifying your behavior, thoughts, and lifestyle. You can start with a drug-free approach, and then speak with a doctor if your symptoms don’t improve or worsen. These drug-free, antianxiety tactics can even help you complement your medication regimen. Do what works for you, and know that these conditions do not control your life.
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