How to Improve Sleep: 9 Nutrients

A long and restful night’s sleep is very important for a person. Thanks to him, the body can rest, recover, get rid of the effects of stress. While we sleep, very important metabolic processes take place that ensure our health and optimal functioning. Many scientific studies have been devoted to sleep problems. As a result, scientists came to the conclusion that with the help of certain substances it is possible to improve its quality.

It is better if you find them in ordinary food. After all, our body has evolved for a very long time to learn how to extract vitamins, minerals and other biologically active substances from organic products. There is no guarantee that it will easily absorb ascorbic acid, potassium and other nutrients from dietary supplements. It is much more pleasant for our cells and healthy intestinal bacteria to receive them with real food than with any biologically active additives.

Of course, there are cases when it is strategically important to consult a doctor and include dietary supplements in your diet to help fill in the gaps in your diet, urgently get the nutrients you are experiencing a deficiency of. Our tips are for those who do not have systemic pathologies and other serious reasons to visit a doctor.

Find out what should be included in the meals to ensure a good rest throughout the night. Here is a list of the most important nutrients that improve sleep, and a list of functional foods that are their best food sources.

Selenium to optimize immunity

It happens that a person does not sleep well and does not realize that his problems are due to a lack of selenium in the diet. This nutrient is part of 30 different chemical compounds present in the human body. Selenium ensures the effective functioning of the thyroid gland, the successful functioning of the immune system, is responsible for metabolic processes and redox reactions.

The best food sources of this substance are:

  • brazil nuts;
  • sunflower seeds;
  • beef;
  • oysters;
  • chicken;
  • mushrooms.

Vitamin C for health

It turns out that ascorbic acid is important not only to protect against pathological microflora, enhance immunity, etc. Scientific studies show that people with low levels of vitamin C in the blood have more problems falling asleep and wake up more often during the night.

Excellent sources of ascorbic acid are:

  • kiwi;
  • strawberry;
  • green leafy vegetables;
  • citrus fruits;
  • sweet pepper;
  • papaya.

Tryptophan for dinner guarantees rest

It is one of the most important biologically active substances for the human body, because this essential alpha-amino acid is a precursor of serotonin. Signs of its deficiency are not only insomnia, but also depressive states, craving for alcohol, chronic fatigue.

If you want to get a portion of tryptophan, your plate should have:

  • turkey;
  • chicken;
  • eggs;
  • sweet potatoes;
  • chia seeds;
  • bananas;
  • pumpkin seeds;
  • almond;
  • natural yogurt, etc.

Nutrition enriched with potassium will help you sleep peacefully

Back in 1991, the results of a study by American scientists were published in the journal Sleep. Experimentally, they found that potassium can be especially useful for those who have trouble falling asleep.

Bananas are often touted as the best source of potassium. But there are other products that are not inferior and even ahead of its content, while avoiding excess sugar:

  • leafy greens;
  • potato;
  • seaweed;
  • broccoli;
  • mushrooms;
  • avocado.

Calcium for pleasant dreams

You may not be able to close your eyes for a long time at night or sleep anxiously due to a lack of calcium in the diet. The European Neurology Journal has published the findings of studies that prove that the reason for the absence of a deep phase and violations of the fast phase of sleep is often the lack of this important mineral in the body.

The most accessible sources of calcium:

  • cabbage;
  • greenery;
  • mustard;
  • sardines;
  • seaweed;
  • sesame seeds.

Vitamin D for the nervous system

The results of two years of experimental work by scientists from the University of Northern California have been published in the journal Medical Hypothesis. They found that there is a stable correlation between vitamin D deficiency and excessive daytime sleepiness, as well as disorders such as insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, etc. In 1,500 volunteers who regularly took calciferols, persistent improvements in sleep quality were recorded.

The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine published the findings of scientists from Louisiana State University that a lack of calciferols is associated with excessive drowsiness during the day and insomnia at night.

There are several valuable sources of calciferols:

  • salmon, tuna, mackerel and other sea fish;
  • shiitake mushrooms;
  • oysters.

Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids against Insomnia

A study conducted at the University of Oxford confirmed the link between polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet and the quality of a night’s rest. All 362 children from 7 to 9 years old who took part in a scientific experiment and for 16 weeks received 600 mg of seaweed in addition to the usual menu, began to sleep better.

Food sources of omega-3 are:

  • chia seeds;
  • halibut;
  • walnuts;
  • salmon;
  • pumpkin seeds;
  • flax seeds.

Melatonin is the main sleep hormone

It regulates sleep by being responsible for cycles. It is produced by special cells of the pineal gland – pinealocytes. In order to effectively produce melatonin, the body needs to receive a sufficient amount of tryptophan.

It is desirable to enrich the diet with products that stimulate the production of melatonin or contain a small amount of this hormone:

  • oranges;
  • cherry;
  • pineapples;
  • walnuts;
  • bananas.

Pyridoxine for stress protection

This important nutrient helps to modulate the protective response to stress of our body, promotes relaxation.

Among the best sources of vitamin B6:

  • cashew nuts;
  • seaweed;
  • bananas;
  • spinach;
  • avocado;
  • fish;
  • eggs;
  • tomatoes;
  • peanut butter;
  • sweet potatoes.

It is better if all these natural products are subjected to gentle processing in order to preserve vitamins and other biologically active substances in their composition as much as possible. Include them in your diet more often and sleep peacefully!

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