What to Eat for Better Sleep

Sleep is very important because it can contribute to some health problems. People who have sleep deprivation (snooze less than 6 hours a night) have an increased risk of weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and a decrease in the immune system’s power.

If you find it hard to get your zzz’s, here are 5 nutrients that help you sleep better each night.

1. Lycopene

Lycopene is a natural substance that has many health benefits for you and your body. It plays an important role in helping you sleep better. According to a recent study on 4,500 people, lycopene is one of key nutrients that are associated healthier sleep patterns. Besides, lycopene is known as a cancer fighting agent and a powerful antioxidant. It also helps reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. You can find lycopene in fresh fruits and vegetables like tomato, watermelon, grapefruit, papaya, guava and apricot.

2. Vitamin D

You have already known about vitamin D’s role in bone health. It is one of substances that your body needs to grow and develop normally. However, benefits of this vitamin do not stop there. Many studies revealed that there is a link between sleep disorders and the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D can be found in salmon, trout, sardines, tuna, milk, cereal and a variety of snack bars, but the best source for this nutrient is the sun’s rays.

3. Potassium

Potassium has been known for its ability to prevent stroke, osteoporosis, kidney stones and treat high blood pressure. This mineral was proven to be helpful to people who have trouble sleeping through the night as well. Therefore, too little potassium, called hypokalemia, can affect your sleep patterns. To promote sleep, you can get potassium directly by eating a healthy diet. The best sources of this nutrient are bananas, avocados, beans, baked potatoes and leafy greens.

4. Selenium

Selenium is a trace mineral that not only helps prevent cell damage but also plays a part in your immune system and thyroid function. It can contribute to sleeping abnormalities, too. If you have trouble getting to sleep, you should consider your selenium intake by getting it in fish, shellfish, barley, turkey and nuts.

5. Vitamin C

Along with vitamin D, vitamin C is good for sleep enhancement, too. According to a new research from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, a shortage of vitamin C is the reason why you are in trouble getting your zzz’s. The study showed that those who consume the most vitamin C have the healthiest sleep patterns, compared to others. So you should increase vitamin C to improve the amount of sleep you get each night. You can find this nutrient in blueberries, raspberries, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple and more. However, you should eat them raw because cooking fruits and vegetables can lower the amount of vitamin C.

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