5 Foods For a Good Night’s Rest

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 | 8:42 pm

The National Sleep Foundation says 60% of Americans have problems with their sleep. It is very frustrating to toss and turn all night and a sleepless night can cause health issues including weight gain. Failure to get enough sleep puts stress on the body. Sleep is the time our bodies do repair and maintenance. If our bodies are deprived of this critical time of repair and maintenance night after night, chronic health issue can arise. A healthy diet may hold the key to sleep restoration. The following foods will contribute to a restful night’s sleep.

If you are one of the many people that have difficulty sleeping due to restless leg or leg cramps, you may want to try eating a banana. Bananas are full of potassium and are a quick and easy way to pump up your potassium intake. Other excellent sources of potassium include sweet and white potatoes, papaya or lima beans.

Cruciferous vegetables have great sleep inducing properties. They are high in both calcium and potassium. Kale is an excellent cruciferous veggie that promotes a peaceful night’s sleep. To get the most benefits, have kale for dinner or as a pre-bedtime snack. If kale is not one of your favorite foods, try one of the other green veggies such as spinach and Swiss chard as both contain a healthy dose of potassium too.

A small handful of almonds right before bedtime can help promote sleep. This is because they contain proteins that help stabilize blood sugar especially at night. This makes it easy to switch from a stage of alertness to drowsiness

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are great in helping us to relieve stress and they elevate your mood because of their high levels of vitamin B-6. They also help us to produce melatonin naturally. Melatonin is a hormone that is secreted in response to darkness, and has been linked to the regulation of circadian rhythms. Humans have a circadian rhythm which is to go to sleep a few hours after dust and arise shortly after sunrise. So chickpeas for dinner can help promote a better night’s sleep.

Lastly oatmeal is a rich source of all three minerals, calcium, potassium and magnesium which help you to fall asleep easily. Just don’t top it with sugar as that will negate the benefits!

So one recommendation for getting a good night’s sleep is to begin with a sleep-inducing evening food!

Dr. Tina Paul, BCND, Traditional Naturopath, Vibrant Living Wellness Center, 144 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, (626) 470-7711 or visit www.vibrantlivingwc.com.

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