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.