Advanced Technology = Less Deep Sleep
America has made it much more difficult for many people to fall asleep. In our technological driven environment, having the ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere, at any hour, we just cannot pull ourselves away from it long enough to get decent sleep. Besides, the light on our cell phones causes our brains to think it’s still daytime, and therefore melatonin is not produced.
As soon as the sun goes down, our bodies are supposed to produce melatonin naturally. But with the invention of light bulbs, televisions, and computers, our brains just cannot produce enough of this necessary sleep chemical. If you can, please do your best to shut off every light source at least 2 hours before bedtime. Read a book instead, meditate, or do some yoga.
The Right Foods VS. The Wrong Foods
To top it all off, make sure that you are eating the right foods – those that contain or are able to produce the necessary vitamins and minerals to help your brain produce enough melatonin, such as:
1. Fish – Fish such as salmon, cod, tuna, and halibut produce increased amounts of B vitamins which is a precursor to melatonin production. Fish also contain magnesium, a mineral that relieves muscle and joint pain and relaxes the body for sleep.
2. Yogurt – Dairy products like yogurt contain another powerful mineral called calcium, and this mineral is a great sleep promoter. Maybe this is why babies fall asleep more easily after drinking milk.
3. Oats/Oatmeal – Naturally packed with lots of melatonin, the best sleep nutrient that your body can possibly produce.
4. Jasmine Rice or Basmati Rice – Whole grain rice is undoubtedly more healthy for you, but both jasmine and basmati rice have higher amounts of carbohydrates which will trigger the release of tryptophan, an amino acid that’s also in turkey and helps you to fall asleep more easily.
5. Almonds – These nuts are not only great for healthy liver function but also contain lots of magnesium.
If you want to sleep more soundly, there are certain foods that you should avoid. We all know that caffeine and sugar must be avoided in the evening hours. Chocolate should also be avoided as it contains caffeine naturally. No energy drinks, coffee, or iced tea after 3 p.m. and for more sensitive people after 12 noon. However, there are a couple of other categories of food that should be avoided at dinner time if you have trouble getting some good REM sleep.
2 Foods to Avoid For Better Sleep
1. Spicy/Mexican Foods – Mexican is absolutely delicious, especially the milder types. If you are a big fan of Mexican cuisine, try to limit your eating to lunchtime instead of dinner if you have trouble falling and staying asleep. Spicy foods speed your metabolism up greatly, and even though they are healthy, they should be limited or avoided at dinnertime.
2. Alcohol – Alcohol may be a depressant, and you may even feel that a few glasses of wine are helpful when it comes to getting shut eye. However, you may not enter the deep REM sleep that your body and brain desperately need to fully recover from the previous day.
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