Heidi

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Mom, desperately trying to get the health thing right! I started this blog so that I can pass along all the great things that I learn everyday on damage control for our wonderful bodies. It is tough to keep up sometimes with all the things going on in our daily lives so hopefully some of the helpful hints that I provide can make your life easier and healthier. I welcome your comments and tips as well! I am a vegetarian, animal rights advocate and avid animal rescuer.
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2009-02-23

Give These Healthy Foods A Try To Put You In A Sweet Slumber

Yawn, toss, turn, toss some more-sound familiar? Ever have trouble getting to sleep? Me too, so I decided to see what foods we can incorporate into our diet to be healthy and sleepy. Most of us know not to drink caffeinee before we go to bed and we know that we might not want to have alot of sugar either- but what about foods and beverages that might actually help us rest and sleep better? Since sleep has always been one of those elusive things to me, I started wondering if maybe I could find a diet that would help me sleep better. I did a little research and tried a few of the suggested foods and well, I'm sleepy now so maybe they are helping. I did actually take a short nap yesterday which is unheard of for me. I have never been able to sleep during the day and never could understand how anyone could but today I actually did and it was so nice (some strange dreams though). Once again being the health nut wannabee that I am- I am amazed at how almost everything that I need I can find in changing my diet and so, here are some great suggestions if you are looking to have better quality shut eye.

Apparently foods containing tryptophan-an amino acid that your body cannot make( you must obtain it from the foods that you eat) is used to make a hormone called serotonin.Serotonin acts within your body to promote feelings of sleepiness, calm, and relaxation. We need adequate levels of Serotonin in our brain in order to fall asleep and rest throughout the night. The key to getting enough tryptophan to your brain to sleep well at night is to combine a tryptophan-rich food with a carbohydrate-rich food. This is because ingesting a carbohydrate-rich food causes your body to release insulin, which diverts many of your other amino acids away from your brain, leaving tryptophan with little competition to cross your blood-brain barrier to gain access to your brain (okay, that is the technical part that I am still processing in my brain).

Healthy Foods To Help You Have A Great Nights Sleep

*Bananas
*Flax seeds
*Potatoes
*Whole-Wheat Bread
*Honey
*Lentils
*Turkey
*Beans
*Hazelnuts
*Hummus
*Peanuts
*Eggs
*Chickpeas
*Seafood
*Oatmeal
*Rice
*Almonds
*Tofu
*Low-fat dairy
*Soy Products
*Chamomile Tea

Foods that are high in carbohydrates and calcium, and medium-to-low in protein also make ideal sleep-inducing bedtime snacks. Meals that are high in carbohydrates and low-to-medium in protein will help you relax in the evening and set you up for a good night's sleep. Some suggested healthy meals and snacks to help you get a good nights sleep are-

*Rice, black beans, and guacamole
*chili with beans, not spicy
*Whole grain crackers with peanut butter-honey would be great on this too!
*Tofu stir fry
*Bagel with peanut butter
*Oatmeal or raisin cookies (okay maybe this one and the next aren't the healthiest but they do taste good)*Ice-cream (organic preferably)
*Glass of warm milk (organic preferably)
*Tuna Fish sandwich on whole wheat bread

If you are like me you will look at this list and say mmmmmmmm I can have cookies and ice-cream and fall into a deep wonderful sleep- but as always-moderation is the key and so is good sense (I think I lost mine). Thanks for reading and here's to a healthy, happy nights sleep!

P.S. I am having computer problems tonight so am sorry if I am not doing my entrecard drops and commenting-I am trying.

18 comments:

foongpc said...
I never have problem sleeping before in my life. I sleep very easily and if I'm sleepy, I can sleep in the middle of a conversation!

Nevertheless, I'll take note of the foods you mentioned and pass this information to those having sleeping problems.

I also think that besides food, it's important to exercise during the day. And not to exercise too close to bed time : )
Sandi said...
hmmm those are good tips. I have troubles sleeping. I never used to. I would fall asleep at the drop of a hat. I was prescribed prednisone for an allergy in 2004. It kept me up all night and even after I went off of the stuff my sleep routine was never the same. I was diagnosed a chronic insomniac in 2007. =/ So finding things that help naturally are wonderful.
This is a great post Heidi...for most of my life I've never had a problem falling asleep or sleeping through the night, with one exception,spicy foods did it to me every time when I was younger... but as I've gotten older I've eliminated caffeine and sugar completely, as well as diet Pepsi at night, as I've found these also contribute to me having a difficult time sleeping through the night...and recently I've even found 6 hours is about all I'm able to sleep.

When I wake up in the middle of the night and I'm wide awake I can always point to something I've eaten...

We are what we eat...
Cheers
tashabud said...
Yeepee! I get to be one of the first ones to comment, instead of the last one. Anyway, I love all the listed foods. I could eat tofu three times a day everyday. I'm just lazy to cook.

Yes, I do need some help in getting a quality shut eye. I'm tired and sleepy all the time because I can't seem to get enough quality sleep. I'd go to sleep, hoping to get at least 5 hrs. of sleep straight, but for then I get awaken 2 hours later for no apparent reason.

So, I'm hoping some of these will help me sleep better and longer. Thanks for sharing.

Tasha
Jarlin said...
Thanks for the tips. All the posts in your blog very useful. Keep writing...
I knew about chamomile and of course warm milk, but the others are new to me and I am sure I will put them to good use... :D
ssgreylord said...
sleep has never been an issue for me. i think i consume too many carbohydrates and produce extra serotonin so i don't mine sharing mine... :)
Beth said...
Heidi, Thanks for these great tips. I will definitely try these as I am having problem going to sleep.
BeadedTail said...
I tried to comment last night but had trouble. I wanted to say that I didn't know that most of those foods help in getting a good nights sleep. And unfortunately this is one list that chocolate isn't on! Thanks for the information though Heidi!
betchai said...
I really have no problems sleeping these days maybe because I walk/jog everyday, but learning all the foods that will help me sleep will help, and I will take note of these and have some of them when I need them. In my younger days I may have trouble sleeping and my mom before would let me drink warm milk and I remember it really helped.

Thanks always for the healthy tips.
EastCoastLife said...
I don't eat before I sleep. It will make me fat. I will watch TV programmes and doze off. haha.....
gLoR!e said...
I could have a good sleep only if i'm extremely tired more often i get troubled sleeping but was not diagnosed insomiac! Good to know these tips for a good sleep it would definitely help me hopefully!:)
Liza said...
I love all these! I've never had problems sleeping but I need longer time to sleep. :D

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iWalk said...
Hi Heidi, I will tell my parents about your tips. I think they need them very much.:)

BTW, I never find a good way to eat Flax seeds, It taste like mud, Could you teach me how to cook it? Many many thanks!
Tammy said...
I'm going to try some of these. Sometimes I have the hardest time falling asleep even if I'm exhausted. Thanks!
Dori said...
Thanks for the tips. I have been a bit restless lately, so I will ramp up my intake of some of these foods.
Pushan Banerjee said...
Just tweeted about you. Hope that helps
You do not have cherries. They have a natural form of melatonin that helps with sleep. Personally I use cherry juice concentrate. It does have a side effect. No aches and pains when I wake.

Now if there was something to help me remember to take it every night. I forget till I wake up sore or have a sleepless night.

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