The health benefits of sleep extend beyond the refreshed feeling that is experienced in the morning. It not only recharges one’s energy levels, but also replenishes the major body systems. Sufficient sleep nourishes the immune system and enables it to function at its best. When people sleep, the body repairs itself, building bone, muscle, and other tissues that are needed by the body to function at its best. Improved mental well-being is also one of the health benefits that can be achieved through sufficient sleep. It allows the mind to unwind, regroup, and adjust to the stress and issues that are experienced in daily lives. Sleep is essential in keeping neurotransmitters and chemicals in the brain balanced allowing the body to promote proper well-being.
However many individuals fail to gain from these health benefits because of sleep difficulties that are encountered. Nutritionists and dietitians advise these individuals to head to the kitchen and munch on foods that may relax tense muscles, calm the mind, and promote the production of serotonin and melatonin—hormones that are known to induce sleep. Here is the list of top foods that may promote sound sleep.
Bananas. This fruit is said to be rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that is converted into melatonin and serotonin. This fruit also contains magnesium, a known muscle relaxant.
Warm Milk. Protein naturally found in milk may improve sleep quality and alertness the next day. It contains alpha-lactobumin which is rich in tryptophan. Milk promotes sound sleep and without the side effects that are often experienced after taking sleep-inducing medications.
Honey. Honey may act as a sedative because the right amount of glucose tells the brain to turn off orexin, a neurotransmitter that is linked to alertness.
Oatmeal. Oats may sooth the digestive and nervous system. The easiest way to improve sleep is consume a serving of oatmeal everyday. But begin with small servings because too much oatmeal may cause gas.
Turkey. This meat is probably the most abundant source of tryptophan. However, tryptophan works when the stomach contains food made up mostly of carbohydrates. Two lean slices of turkey on whole wheat bread are perfect sleep inducers.
If these food choices still do not help improve one’s quality of sleep, people with sleeping problems may use over-the-counter and prescription medications as treatment for their sleep disorder. But before using them, these individuals are advised to seek the approval of health professionals. They may recommend certain medicines that are required for your health needs.
Sleep is composed of distinct stages with each stage giving the body different health functions and benefits. The benefits are achieved when individuals sleep the the number of hours the body needs which is about seven to eight hours for adults and longer for teens and children. This allows the body to to go through all the stages properly and promote improved overall health. If individuals don’t get the enough sleep they may end up getting stressed, sluggish, and sickly. In addition, extreme cases of sleep deprivation may lead to depression or stroke.