There are times when midway through the day you can just doze off anywhere. And, then there are times when you are so sleep deprived that nothing helps in catching up with the much needed zzz's. Sleep deprivation and insomnia are unfortunately not given the due attention it deserves. In fact, meeting your other commitments at the cost of your sleep has traditionally been regarded as a heroic feat. But, clinically speaking, that is far from the case. According to experts, sleeping less than 8 hours a day could take a severe toll on your bodily functions. Our body needs a minimum of 8 hours to rest and recover from the day's work. Not many of you would know, but sleep is linked to healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels, too. Inadequate sleep could cause irritability, hamper your focus and brain power, amount to weight gain and in worse cases, trigger depression. If there is a significant increase in your insomniac spells, it is advised to consult a doctor immediately. But, on domestic front too, there is a lot you can do to induce sleep. For instance, there are plenty of sleep inducing foods that you can include to your diet and catch up on your sleep.
Here are seven sleep inducing foods you may not have known.
1. Warm Milk
According to Ayurveda, a glass of warm milk is a perfect beverage to induce sound sleep. Science seems to back the idea, too. Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that converts into serotonin. Serotonin is known to have soothing effects in the brain, which helps you sleep well. According to 'The Complete book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies,' adding a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of cardamom and some crushed almonds would not only improve the taste of the milk, but also help promote good sleep. Even garlic milk is a good pick for inducing sleep. Mix together 1 cup milk, 1/4th cup water and 1 clove of fresh, chopped garlic. Boil the milk and consume warm.
Cherries contain melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. According to the book, 'The Complete Book of Home Remedies', cherries are 'good mental fatigue and stress.' Eating 10-12 cherries a day could help you catch some good sleep.
In addition to enhancing the brain power, almonds could help you support sound sleep as well. Just like milk, almonds contain tryptophan, which has soothing effects on brain and nerves. On the other hand magnesium are helpful in keeping your heart's rhythm steady. Have a handful of them each day and have a sound sleep.
4. Dark Chocolate
Yes, you read that right. Dark chocolates are one of the best sleep inducing foods. Dark chocolates also contain serotonin, which has a calming effect on your mind and nerves and help you catch up with some valuable sleep. Make sure you don't take this information as a signal to load up on dark chocolates. Remember, excess of anything can harm you in the long run. Moderation is the key to good health.
Bananas could also prove immensely effective in making you sleep comfortably. They contain muscle relaxing magnesium and potassium. Not to mention the good carb content present in bananas that could make you feel sleepy naturally.
Oats are filling, weight loss-friendly and one of the best sleep inducing foods, too! Why you ask? Because of the sleep-inducing melatonin that will help you wind down in no time. Throw in some berries and honey on top and sleep comfortably. Here are some oats recipes.
7. Chamomile Tea
Refreshing, revitalising and fragrant, chamomile tea has soothing effect on nerves and helps induce sleep, notes the 'Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies.' Chamomile tea is renowned as a mild tranquiliser. Experts believe that the sedative effects of chamomile tea could be due to the flavonoid, apigenin that binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain and helps induce sleep.
Load up on these foods and sleep comfortably. A good head massage is also an effective and natural remedy to promote sleep.
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.