Trouble sleeping? Looking for natural remedies to help you fall asleep? It’s time to learn the science of sleep!
I imagine we are all familiar with that old tale of someone being told to count sheep when they can’t fall asleep.
Reality check! Please please don’t take this advice. Instead of finding peaceful slumber you will be instead be stimulating your brain.
So rather than drifting off, you will be focusing a now stimulated brain on a task of trying to see sheep. This actually makes our process of falling asleep even harder.
If you are having difficulty sleeping, you are not alone. A recent Harvard study found that about 1 in 4 U.S. workers has insomnia. That’s a lot of people not sleeping well!
The Science Of Sleep (Why Natural Remedies Are The Answer)
To gain a good, restful and normalized sleeping pattern your body requires:
- 5-hydroxy L-Tryptophan (5-HTP);
- Natural Sunlight (During Daytime);
- Darkness (During Sleep Hours);
The problem is when one of these 4 chemicals (above) is imbalanced then so are all others.
This imbalance is what leads to lack of sleep, poor quality sleep and even an inability to become sleepy.
To kick-start our body’s process which leads to normal sleep, known as the science of sleep, you need to eat or drink foods containing Tryptophan, an essential amino acid.
Your body then converts this Tryptophan to 5-HTP, which in turn is converted into Serotonin.
Serotonin undergoes chemical change converting to Melatonin.
Melatonin is the key for sleep.
Our internal body clock is controlled by Melatonin and it is affected by light.
The darker it becomes the more Melatonin our body produces. More Melatonin starts to make us feel tired and needing sleep.
When exposed to light our body produces less Melatonin this makes us alert and we become wide awake.
Tryptophan is the only amino acid that can convert to Serotonin. Our bodies only way to produce Melatonin is to eat more foods containing Tryptophan. This is is why natural sleep remedies really work.
Foods High In Tryptophan – The Science of Sleep
Diet Tips To Achieve A Great Nights Sleep.
- If you are eating sugary types of cereal it’s time to stop! Combine 3 high tryptophan food types and boost your natural science of sleep cycle. Go for a wholegrain cereal, and take with milk and sliced banana.
- When planning your meals make sure you choose proteins that are rich in Tryptophan amino acid. This will boost your sleep inducing hormone Melatonin. Turkey, chicken, milk & dairy, nuts & seeds are great choices to supplement your diet with Tryptophan.
- Combine your chosen tryptophan amino acid protein foods with carbohydrate rich foods. Good choices are rice, pasta and potatoes. These foods help your body get maximum benefit from tryptophan.
- Plan to have your main meal early in the evening. When we eat it elevates our body’s core temperature. This is known to disrupt sleep. A rule of thumb is to eat your evening meal at least four hours before you go to bed.
- If you feel hungry, due to an earlier meal, a glass of warm milk and wholemeal cracker or an oatcake can be a great before bed snack.
- Reduce your caffeine intake. If possible try to ensure your last caffeine containing drink is no later than midday. The time our body needs to eliminate caffeine from our system is between five to six hours.
- Make sure you include exercise into your daily routine. This especially important if your lack of sleep is due to stress or anxiety. A brisk walk, yoga or light stretching can be a helpful way to unwind. Exercise in the day also helps us to naturally feel more sleepy later in the evening.
- Avoid using mobile phones, computers or electronic devices late in the evening. The light from screens of electronic devices can have a stimulating effect. Not helpful when trying to gain rest.