A survey conducted on Britons revealed that 38% of them do not sleep enough, particularly women aged 35-44 are affected the worst.
Since centuries, people have been using traditional herbs and foods to help them nod off. These foods vary from cups of hot milk to chamomile tea.
There are some foods that help calm the body and promote a restful night’s sleep.
GREEN, BLACK AND WHITE TEA
Amino acid ‘L-theanine,’ dubbed ‘the relaxation amino acid’ and found in green tea, black tea, white and Matcha green teas.
It enhances sleep and also help reduce anxiety.
Benefits: it contains flavonoid called ‘apigenin’ and that has anti-anxiety properties.
- Wound healing
- Benefits to the common cold and cardiovascular health.
Nourishes the nervous system by calming the blood sugar levels. It can even help lower the blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetics.
A small bowl of porridge with cinnamon before bed or even a little cinnamon in some chamomile tea could make early morning waking easier.
Ginger contains a chemical ingredient called gingerol which helps with stomach contractions.
It is also a good circulatory tonic. Ginger is a great overall tonic for the nervous system too.
Ginger binds to Serotonin, which is the brain’s feel good neurotransmitter.
Used by naturopaths since long time as a herbal medicine for depression and anxiety. Liquorice is known by people that study botanical medicine as an adrenal gland tonic. Adrenal glands are responsible for the release of stress hormones and a busy high-pressure lifestyle can quickly leave them depleted, causing anxiety and depression. Adrenal tonic herbs or plants help to nourish the adrenals.
Excess use of Liquorice promotes energy production, so be cautious while using it.
Passion flower or Passionfruit has had a lot of traditional use over time for calming the nervous system. It contains a compound called ‘harman’ that has a hypnotic and sedative effect which has been shown to help insomnia and anxiety.
It is a South American sub-tropical fruit which is literally jam-packed with nutrients. It can also be used as a natural sweetener.
It has a low Glycaemic Index (GI) which means it could help balance blood sugar before bed.
Baobab is a rich source of vitamin C, potassium and B complex vitamins.
It is helpful because lack of them B vitamins can cause problems including insomnia as well as depression. Potassium is helpful to help you stay asleep.
One study, published in the journal Cell in 2015 found that potassium could help regulate the body’s sleep/wake cycle, also known as circadian rhythm, which ensures we fall asleep and wake up when we when we need to.
LEMON, LIME AND BLOOD ORANGE
These are also rich in vitamin C.
It is an immune booster but also nourishes the adrenal glands. Lack of vitamin C could lead to sleep loss.