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Snooze foods: Eat these, sleep better!

Bananas don't just help to beat constipation, they help to induce sleep as well. Read to know about the four other sleep-inducing foods.

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : June 29, 2015 11:13 PM IST

Suffering from sleepless nights is not uncommon in today's day and age where stress rules our lives. No matter how much we try, most of us suffer from insomnia at one point in time or the other. While it might look like a serious issue that needs medical attention, sometimes doing a little lifestyle changes and eating the right foods can go in a long way in inducing restful sleep. Here are some foods that can help you restore your sleep cycle leaving you rejuvenated and energised. So make sure you gorge on these foods to get some good sleep tonight.

Dairy productsdairy-product-milk-cheeseDid you ever wonder why is it that in most indian homes a glass full of milk is consumed right before bedtime? Because dairy products such as yogurt and milk are rich in tryptophan. And, if you're struggling to get a good night s sleep, foods containing tryptophan should be your first port of call. Tryptophan, an essential amino acid, helps to raise serotonin and melatonin levels in the body, both of which can help induce sleep. On top of their tryptophan levels, dairy products are also a great source of calcium, which helps the brain to use tryptophan to create melatonin. Research has also suggested that a deficiency of calcium in the diet can cause disturbed sleep patterns and a lack of deep (REM) sleep. Here are seven reasons why you should start having haldi doodh or turmeric milk at night.

OatsoatsOats are considered an ideal breakfast cereal, however they can double up as an excellent evening snack too. Oats are a good natural source of melatonin, which is often taken as a sleep aid due to its ability to help regulate the body's internal clock. They are also a good source of tryptophan, especially when combined with milk. Furthermore, oats are rich in both calcium and magnesium; two minerals that have been proven to promote good quality sleep. For a warm, soothing snack before bed, try eating a small bowl of porridge to help you drift off, combined with any of the following toppings to help double its effects. Here are five amazing health benefits of oats you ought to know.

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BananasbananaIf you suffer from muscle spasms or cramps during the night, it may be that you are deficient in the electrolytes like -- magnesium and potassium, both of which help to relax muscles and keep them functioning properly. Fortunately, bananas are excellent source of both minerals, making them a good bedtime snack, particularly after a heavy exercise session. As well as being rich in these essential minerals, bananas also contain tryptophan, which can help to promote sleep. Researchers from the University of New England in New South Wales have also found that having a banana before bed can help sufferers of sleep apnea by keeping their throats open and therefore reducing the risk of choking. Here are 10 more reasons to eat more bananas.

CherriescherryFor those who have trouble sleeping, you may be familiar with over-the-counter melatonin supplements used to treat insomnia. However, while melatonin can help to regulate sleep, it may be unwise to rely on supplements for long-term use. Fortunately, cherries provide a great natural source of melatonin as well as being excellent for overall health. A research study published in The Journal of Sleep and Sleep Disorders Research has indicated that consuming tart cherries before bed helped participants sleep faster and easier, making fresh cherries or cherry juice a great natural sleep aid.

Flax seedsflaxseedFlax seeds are great for increasing levels of sleep-regulating substance serotonin in the body due to their high levels of both tryptophan and omega-3 fatty acids. Furthermore, the omega-3 fatty acids they contain have been proven to help reduce the anxiety, depression and stress which are leading causes of insomnia, and have been shown to be effective against the condition sleep apnea. Not only that, flax seeds are a good source of magnesium, which is renowned for its ability to reduce stress due to its relaxing effect on the muscles and nervous system. Magnesium has also been shown to help prevent restless leg syndrome and night terrors; both of which can affect sleep.

Here are six more reasons why flaxseeds are great for your health.

Read more about causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of insomnia.Also read: Ten tips for better sleep

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