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Foods to improve your sleep

Lack of sleep drives stress, increases appetite hormones, and is causing many of us to turn to quick-fix drugs; around one in ten Britons currently resort to sleeping tablets and in America it’s one in four. Sleeping pills have recently been linked to increased risk of lung cancer and Alzheimer’s, so what are the healthier alternatives? Read on.
 
Tart Cherry Juice: One glass of organic tart cherry juice can help you nod off according to research from Dr. Glyn Howatson from Northumbria University. He gathered 20 volunteers and asked them take either a placebo or the tart cherry juice for seven days. Results revealed the juice helped people sleep longer and more efficiently. Why? Cherry juice stimulates the production of the sleep inducing molecule melatonin, according to Howatson’s research.
Porridge: Oats also contain melatonin, and the comforting smell of oatmeal before bed can help you feel sleepy. If you don’t fancy a bowl of porridge for dinner (egg and kale topped oatmeal?) try Pukka’s Night Time Tea with oat straw flowering tops.
 
Chocolate: We’re talking organic dark chocolate (or even better raw) here, not processed milk chocolate with acid-forming sugar. Cacao is one of the richest sources of magnesium, a key alkaline mineral, which helps relax muscles and steady your heartbeat. Dark chocolate also contains serotonin, the feel good neurotransmitter – sweet dreams.
 
Magnolia: An extract from the bark of Magnolia officinalis called Honokiol is showing promise as a natural sleep aid. Not only is it powerfully antioxidant, Honokiol has been shown in several studies to help patients fall asleep and stay asleep. The extract is thought to work by enhancing the activity of GABA receptors in the brain, which signals the body to relax.

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Comments

Carolina:

I as the previous writer, find my sleep is disturbed by waking up if I eat chocolate before bed time. My heartbeat actually increases after eating home made dark chocolate brownie without cane sugar ?
On the other hand I look after children and this little girl who would take 1 hour to go to sleep most nights started to go to sleep almost imediately after we started to give her a bowl of porridge with berries before bed.

Dec 08, 2015

Emma:

Great article! I adore raw chocolate, so great news! I do find it very stimulating though, I’m caffeine free but raw feels like it has a caffeine affect on me – very alert, chatty and full on energy! I guess the trick is to consume early in the day rather than in the evening, so ….. the perfect morning treat :)

Oct 08, 2015

Chloe Brotheridge - Calmer You :

Such great tips here. Love the taste of tart cherry juice too! x

Oct 06, 2015

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