There are a number of things that can affect how well you sleep so before you start popping sleeping pills that have harmful side effects, try to address the root of the problem first. If you think that poor nutrition might be interfering with your internal clock then see if the following tips can improve your sleep quality:
Reduce alcohol intake — At least 20 percent of American adults drink alcohol to help them fall asleep. However, drinking it regularly can interfere with the body clock’s ability to synchronize itself by suppressing the hormone melatonin. It also increases the concentration of adenosine, a compound that gradually builds up while a person is awake to block chemicals that stimulate wakefulness. Because of this adenine-boosting effect, there is a higher chance that you would fall asleep at times when you are normally awake and be awake when you should be sleeping.
Avoid caffeinated drinks — Caffeine is a naturally-occurring stimulant that is commonly found in coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, more than 85 percent of Americans consume caffeinated drinks daily. This can disrupt your sleep by stimulating brain activity, delaying your body clock, and reducing the amount of time you spend in deep sleep.
Increase tryptophan intake — To produce serotonin, there should be sufficient levels of tryptophan. This amino acid cannot be produced by the body so you can only get it from the food that you eat. Make sure that you have enough tryptophan by eating the following foods, cheese, yogurt, eggs, poultry, meat, fish, and nuts. You also need to increase your intake of complex carbohydrates like oatmeal, barley, and yams since these help transport tryptophan across the blood-brain barrier, which keeps foreign material out of the brain.
Drink a cup of tea before bed — Tea has been used for centuries as a natural sleep remedy since it can induce a calming effect on the body that makes it easier to fall asleep. Based on previous studies, the six best herbal teas for promoting sleep are chamomile (which is most commonly used), valerian, lavender, lemon balm, passionflower, and magnolia bark tea.
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