Foods for Sleep
The main amino acid and mineral that help promote sleep are...
TryptophanTryptophan is a big component in aiding sleep. This amino acid can help overcome insomnia, sleep disorders, depression, anxiety and much more. Tryptophan...
- A protein building block
- Plays an important role of the functioning and development of many organs
- Must be supplemented and acquired through diet
- Acts as a precursor to neurotransmitters 'serotonin' and 'melatonin' (which are the 2 hormones that promote sleep)
Magnesium is a mineral that enhances the muscles to relax and promotes the body to feel calm, sleepy and helps the body unwind. If your body contains low levels, it may result in difficulty sleeping. Magnesium has been found to relieve insomnia and help with cortisol levels, known as the 'stress hormone', which can disrupt sleep. Magnesium...
- Aids in protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, controls blood glucose levels and blood pressure regulation
- Is required for energy
- Is required for bone development
- Plays a role in the transport of calcium and potassium
- Needs to be heavily supplemented through diet
When the body absorbs tryptophan it will process it into 5-HTP (5-hyrdoxytryptophan). After this process, it will further convert to serotonin. Serotonin plays an important role in altering mood and working with your body clock (it will help set your sleep cycles) .
The body can not produce tryptophan naturally, so it is important we supplement it through diet. It can be found in many food sources, especially many high protein based foods!
For Magnesium, it is found in a variety of plant and animal based food but also in beverages.
The following are some examples...
- Contain tryptophan and melatonin - both sleep enhancing hormones
- Rich in magnesium
- Foods such as milk, cheese yoghurt etc encourage the brain to use tryptophan found in dairy to promote sleep-triggering.
- Magnesium is found in beverages such as milk or soy milk
- Kale and spinach to name a few are very enriched with calcium, which therefore, encourage the brain to use tryptophan to promote melatonin and are high in magnesium
- Are a high glycemic food (high GI). Meaning you will have a natural spike of insulin and blood sugar levels after consumption. This will actually shorten the time it would take you to fall asleep. Okay, this may sound 'un natural or un healthy' and you normally want to not promote insulin spikes. However if your trailing ways of sleep, this spike will helps derive tryptophan enter your brain to bring on sleep.
- Like pretzels, it is a high GI food.
- Jasmine rice is your best option and has been proven to help you fall asleep much faster!
- Raises insulin levels in the body from the natural sugars. As mentioned insulin levels allow tryptophan to enter the brain more easily.
- Salmon, tuna etc are high in vitamin B6. This vitamin is crucial for the body to produce melatonin and serotonin.
- Like fish, pistachio nuts are also high in Vitamin B6
- Beans are full of fiber
- A high fiber diet can help you spend more time in a deeper REM sleep cycle, which a stage which helps with great restoration
- Beans such as black beans and kidney beans are high in magnesium
- Prawns (shrimp) and lobster are loaded and a great source of tryptophan
If you are finding food is not enough, you may want to consider some supplementation. If systems still persist and seem severe we suggest to seek professional advice and/or treatment. If you wish to learn further about sleep and supplementation you may like to read another one of our recent blog posts 'Sleep Aids'.
Remember, sleep is such an important component for your mental as well as crucial for your physical health.
Some supplements we sell and have in stock to assist you are...