By Reliv Product Marketing Specialist Tina Van Horn
Long workweeks are interfering with sleep for millions of people. According to an article from CNBC, most people who work longer hours get less than six hours of sleep a night, far below the seven and a half to eight hours recommended by medical experts. Workday stress plays a key role in robbing people of restful, restorative sleep. But a healthy diet and regular exercise could help defuse the effects of stress once your head hits the pillow. The following foods boost the neurotransmitter serotonin, which can actually promote sleep.
Whole grains, such as whole wheat, brown rice and oats. Try a bedtime snack high in complex carbohydrates to help ease your way to dreamland.
Milk with honey. Milk contains tryptophan, which converts to serotonin in the body and helps promote the deep stages of sleep. Turkey, egg whites and tuna also contain tryptophan.
B Vitamins, especially B6 and B12 help reduce stress that can lead to trouble sleeping. Whole grains, wheat germ, tuna, walnuts, peanuts, bananas, sunflower seeds and blackstrap molasses are all rich in B vitamins.
Magnesium can also help reduce the stress and nervousness that interfere with sleep. Magnesium-rich foods include kelp, wheat bran, almonds, cashews and blackstrap.
Foods to Avoid Before Bed
While some foods can improve sleep, these foods near bedtime can make sleep difficult or even impossible.
Coffee and other caffeine-containing foods such as chocolate, cocoa, soft drinks and some over-the-counter and prescription medications.
Spicy foods that may cause gastrointestinal reflux or heartburn.
Overly sweet or fatty foods that can also cause indigestion and/or bloating.
Alcohol. Although it can make you feel sleepy at first, alcohol disturbs sleep patterns later in the night.
Along with eating well, adding in routine exercise throughout your week is proven to greatly improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep. Exercise works wonders to relieve stress and relax the mind. A common contributor to bad sleep is high-stress levels.
A nationally representative sample of more than 2,600 men and women, taken by the National Sleep Foundation, found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week provided a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality.
Follow these tips and enjoy a good night’s sleep!