Do you face problems while falling asleep? Are you getting enough sleep? Do you wake up tired and don’t want to get up? Are you worried about your sleep patterns and want to make a change?
In this blog by PARAFIT we will learn about:
- Why you should sleep well.
- Foods that promote better sleep
- Sleep hormone “Melatonin” and its role.
- How to figure out if you slept well.
WHY YOU SHOULD SLEEP WELL
(i ) Poor Sleep leads to more weight gain –
People who do not get enough sleep tend to be more vulnerable to weight gain. Short sleep duration is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity. Getting a good quality sleep of around 8 hours is crucial for the perfect weight loss.
(ii) Good sleep improves concentration and productivity –
Sleep is really important if you need your brain to function at its best. Good sleep has been shown to improve problem-solving skills and enhance memory powers. Short sleep duration negatively impacts the brain just as alcohol does.
(iii) Getting good sleep improves athletic performance –
Less sleep is associated with poor exercise performance and also functional limitation whereas longer sleeps helps in improving accuracy, reaction times and also enhance workout performance.
(iv) Not getting good sleep is linked to greater risk of heart diseases –
Sleep plays a major role in the overall fitness of body but it is proven that sleep quality and duration can have a major impact on heart health. People who don’t get enough sleep are at far greater risk of heart disease or stroke than those who sleep 7–8 hours per night.
(v) Poor sleep increases the risk of type 2 diabetes-
Sleep restriction affects blood sugar and reduces insulin sensitivity which leads to type 2 diabetes. Those sleeping less than six hours per night have repeatedly been shown to be at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
(vi) Sleep improves immunity –
Loss of sleep has been shown to impair immune function. If you often get colds, ensuring that you get at least eight hours of sleep per night could be very helpful. When you sleep better body treats itself naturally taking care of your health.
FOODS THAT PROMOTE SOUND SLEEP:
Nuts: A handful of nuts are a great bedtime snack because they help boost serotonin levels in the brain and are an excellent source of magnesium and tryptophan. Almonds, Walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds contain the highest levels of the natural sedative.
Bananas: Bananas are high in potassium, a mineral that is essential to achieving a deep night’s sleep. Bananas also contain tryptophan and magnesium.
Tuna: Fish such as tuna and salmon are high in vitamin B6, which body needs to secrete melatonin and serotonin.
Chamomile tea: Sipping a cup of soothing chamomile tea will help you sleep better. It relaxes nerves and muscles and acts as a mild sedative.
Dairy: Dairy is a natural source of sleep-inducing tryptophan, and the calcium content of dairy has a nice booster effect on the amino acid. So a Glass of warm milk before bedtime is great for that quality sleep.
Oats: Melatonin is a hormone that helps to control the body’s sleep/wake cycle. Oats are a natural source of melatonin. If you need a snack before bed, have a small bowl of oatmeal or a healthy oat cookie.
Whole Grains: Whole grains encourage the production of insulin, which helps neural pathways get tryptophan that acts as a sedative, to the brain.
MELATONIN – THE SLEEP HORMONE
You must have seen people taking melatonin supplements for sleep, so what is melatonin?
Melatonin is a natural hormone made by the body’s pineal gland. This gland is located just above the middle of the brain. During the day the pineal is inactive. When the sun goes down and darkness occurs, the pineal is “turned on” and begins to actively produce melatonin, which is released into the blood. As the melatonin levels in the blood rise sharply, you begin to feel less alert and sleep becomes more inviting.
HOW TO FIGURE OUT IF YOU SLEPT WELL
Sleep studies have suggested that people usually sleep better and longer than they think they did.
We are all different, although some people can go on even with less sleep; others need a full night’s sleep to be at their best. To know if you really slept well the best way is to assess your mood and your energy levels the next day. If you find it difficult to get up from bed or feel lazy doing daily tasks it is an indication of your low sleep quality. If you don’t feel refreshed after waking up then probably you didn’t get enough sleep.
How you feel during the day is the result of kind of sleep you had last night.
Simple steps to a better sleep:
(i) Do not drink caffeine post lunch time.
(ii) Include protein in every meal.
(iii) Workout daily, it acts as a stress buster
(iv) Avoid using computers, mobiles at least an hour before you need to sleep. Light from electronic devices cause harm to your eyes and disrupt your sleep as well.
Sleep is your most precious resource for your good health and happiness. When you sleep well, your body repairs itself. Quality sleep also protects you from diseases such as high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, and heart attack. It also strengthens your immune system. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep each day and feel your energy levels rising up.