Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Foods That Prevent Insomnia

Sleeping is key to allow us to have an active and healthy life. Unfortunately not all of us are lucky enough to get the desired 8 hours every night. While reading about the subject, I was very surprised by this list from Planet Green of foods and drinks that can prevent and cause insomnia. Some of these foods and drinks are known for relaxing, however......

Five foods to prevent insomnia:

1. Pumpkin seeds: great source of magnesium which serves to calm the body down. Magnesium helps to relieve the stress that can keep us up all night. Just 1 oz. of pumpkin seeds has 151 mg of magnesium, making it one of the most magnesium-rich foods out there.

2. Cottage cheese: contains tryptophan, a sleep inducing amino acid that relaxes the entire body and mind. If you don't do dairy you can also find tryptophan in soy milk, tofu, hummus, and lentils.
3. Sesame seeds: rich in trytophan but they're also high in carbohydrates with a medium protein content, perfect for before bedtime.
4. Brown rice: whole unrefined grains like brown rice have a calming effect on the mind. They soothe the nervous system so that the mind stops moving a mile a minute and you can fall asleep. Also consider oats for a similar effect.
5. Spinach: chlorophyll-rich foods like spinach help you get to sleep. Spinach, like pumpkin seeds, is also loaded with magnesium, which calms and de-stresses the entire body.

Five foods that promote insomnia

1. Bacon: contains tyramine, which increases the release of norepinephrine, a brain stimulant that keeps you up. Others foods that contain tyramine include chocolate, eggplant, ham, potatoes, sauerkraut, sugar, sausage, tomatoes, and wine.

2. Refined carbohydrates: these drain the body of vitamin B, which the body needs to release serotonin. When the body can't get enough serotonin, then tension, fear, and depression can keep you up all night.
3. MSG: monosodium glutamate (MSG), often found in Chinese food, causes a stimulant reaction in some people. MSG is almost always found in processed, prepared, and packaged foods. Here's a list of surprising places that MSG hides.

4. Alcohol: while many of us drink to relax the body and mind, the fact of the matter is that wine, beer, and spirits can keep you up at night. This is especially true if you drink more than one glass. While alcohol can make you tired in the short run, you're likely to awaken in the middle of the night.
5. Chocolate: can elevate your energy levels with bioactive compounds like tyramine and phenylethylamine. Chocolate also contains sugar which wakes you up as well as the other obvious culprit, caffeine.
Beyond your diet, yoga is another great way to help you sleep. Here are some yoga and meditation practices to keep you calm and collected.

No comments:

Post a Comment