The Royal Society of Public Health in the UK undertook a study of 2000 people and revealed that on average the UK adult sleeps for 6.8 hours a night but this falls short of the optimum amount of sleep by 50 minutes. This can lead to a negative impact on health and well-being. Losing just 50 minutes sleep each night means that we lose the equivalent of one whole night’s sleep every week!
There are many contributory factors which disrupt our sleep but nutrition plays an important role and is a natural way to help regulate sleep. There are some foods which contain essential nutrients and minerals to help achieve optimum sleep if eaten regularly.
Almonds – 80% of us are lacking magnesium in our diet which helps achieve good quality sleep and almonds provide a rich source of this, one of the most powerful ‘relaxation’ minerals.
Avocados – containing high quality fats, they contain plenty of potassium which, in combination with magnesium, works to improve sleep.
Chamomile tea – this isn’t just a myth – if you drink a cup of chamomile tea about an hour before bedtime, you will have a rise in the chemical glycine which is a natural sedative and encourages muscle relaxation.
Cherries – these are another excellent source of magnesium, just a handful of cherries an hour or two before bedtime will help promote good quality sleep.
Green leafy vegetables -again packed with magnesium, rich in calcium and loaded with minerals and vitamins proven to help you sleep.
Walnuts – these contain a good supply of tryptophan which is an amino acid that helps the body to make melatonin. Melatonin regulates the sleeping and waking cycle and other circadian rhythms, it triggers chemical receptors in the brain to encourage sleep.