“Fighting insomnia with nutrition is eating the correct food at night and knowing what foods one must avoid.”
Insomnia is a sleep disorder which makes a person difficult to fall asleep or remain asleep or maybe both. Insomnia affects a person’s work performance also it has a negative impact on health and the quality of life. A person who sleeps for less than 6 hours for 3 or more nights in a week over a month or probably even more suffers from insomnia. Symptoms include difficulty in falling asleep, depression or anxiety, distress in the GI tract, difficulty in concentration during the day, daytime tiredness etc.
The best natural sedative is tryptophan, an amino acid component of plant and animal protein. Tryptophan is important for the body to make serotonin which makes a person sleepy. Tryptophan should be combined with good carbohydrates as all amino acids compete with each other for transportation to the brain. Carbohydrates release insulin which in turn transports competing amino acids into muscle tissue and leaves the tryptophan alone in order to make its way to the brain.
Some of the high carbohydrate food for serotonin are whole grain ,oats , vegetables like spinach , yams , sweet potatoes , broccoli , brussel sprouts , celery , etc .
Things to avoid before going to bed:
- Coffee- caffeine is a natural chemical that activates the nervous system which reverses the thought processes. People with insomnia should avoid coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks several hours before sleeping. Drinking caffeinated beverages close to the bed time keeps you awake.
- Big portion size- having a large portion for dinner or even as a bedtime snack can make you feel drowsy but it is not important that you will feel sleepy. When you lie down there can be a chance that you may feel uncomfortable or develop heartburn which increases your discomfort. You should therefore go in for a high protein, or high carbohydrate food.
- Alcohol- Alcohol does make you sleepy but after a few hours, alcohol causes frequent awakenings and lighter, less restful sleep. You should never use alcohol as a sleeping pill rather avoids it for a few weeks to see if insomnia resolves.
- Liquids-individuals who get up in the middle of their night sleep to go to the washroom should avoid drinking water or any other fluids within 60-90 minutes of bedtime. However, if you must drink something like in case of taking a prescribed medicine take a few sips of water.