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How to sleep: The yellow fruit full of ‘muscle-relaxing’ nutrients

This Morning: Insomniac describes her crippling condition

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According to one expert from mattress firm Amerisleep, a certain fruit has both muscle-relaxing and sleep regulating properties. Speaking with Express.co.uk, Mary-Grace Taylor said: It’s true that countless people struggle with getting the seven to eight hours of nightly shuteye.

“But often, having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep is the result of a series of lifestyle choices that snowball together to yield night after night of tossing and turning.

“You probably know that steering clear of caffeine in the hours leading up to bedtime can significantly up your odds for having a good night’s sleep but sleeping well isn’t just about avoiding the wrong foods or drinks.

“Certain foods can actually help you sleep even better and stop you from being restless during the night.”

She specifically recommended eating bananas before bed time.

“When you’re craving something sweet before you turn in, reach for one of the yellow fruits, which are rich in muscle-relaxing minerals like potassium and magnesium,” she said.

“Bananas also contain the amino acid tryptophan, which breaks down into melatonin and serotonin (both important neurochemicals for sleep regulation) in the brain.”

This is backed by multiple other sources, including The Sleep Charity, which says: “Bananas are an excellent source of magnesium and potassium which help relax overstressed muscles and make them an ideal go-to snack before bed.

“They also contain all-important tryptophan to stimulate production of those key brain calming hormones.”

Ms Taylor also advised the following healthy snacks to help beat insomnia.

Low-fat cottage cheese – If you suffer from night time heartburn, snacking on high-protein, low-fat foods like cottage cheese before bed can help fight acid reflux.

It’s also loaded with calcium, which helps regulate your body’s production of melatonin.

Cherries – They’re one of the few food sources of melatonin, which is why eating a bowl before bed might just help you conk out.

But if the fruit isn’t in season, try a glass of tart cherry juice instead.

Recent research from Louisiana State University found that drinking the stuff twice a day helps insomnia sufferers log 90 more minutes of snooze time.

Salmon – It might not be your first choice for a midnight snack, but dining on salmon for dinner could help you sleep more soundly.

Recent British research found that having higher blood levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the omega-3 fatty acid found in fatty fish, is associated with better sleep.

But if you’re not a fan of fish, popping a 600 mg daily supplement is just as good.

Kiwi fruit – Another sweet treat that can help you sleep are kiwis, which are rich in potassium, calcium, phosphorus, folate, magnesium and more.

A study from Taiwan found that eating two kiwis an hour before bed significantly improved sleep.

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