It is not new that what we eat affects how well we sleep. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine highlights the relationship between diet and sleep problems. The study, conducted by researchers from several Nutrition Research Centers and several departments of Columbia University observes that low fiber, saturated fats and sugar consumption may produce a lighter, less restorative and slow wave sleep, with more aroulsals.
Diet is directly related to the production of serotonin, a key hormone of sleep. Foods with high levels of vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid play a decisive role in getting restful sleep.
Want to sleep better?
The renowned dietician Kristin Kirkpatrick suggests five food groups that increase serotonin levels and will help you get a healthy sleep.
Avoid carbohydrates like bread, candy, cookies and pastries that decrease serotonin levels. Instead, it is better to opt for whole wheat bread, whole grains and cargo rice.
Eat low-fat cheese and dairy products, grilled chicken, turkey or fish.
Avoid fatty cheese, fried chicken or fried fish because these foods hinder digestion.
Unsaturated fats, apart from being good for the heart, stimulate the production of serotonin. You can have peanut butter, almonds, walnuts, pistachios and cashews.
Avoid saturated and trans-fats found in chips and other processed snacks.
Warm milk, chamomile tea or peppermint tea can prepare the body for sleep. Avoid drinks with caffeine or other stimulants at least eight hours before bedtime.
Spices and plants
Some plants such as sage, valerian, lemon balm, linden or basil have relaxing properties and are traditionally used in teas to help you sleep. However, if you have trouble sleeping you should avoid spice or stimulants such as pepper, mustard and ginger.