Sleep and nutrition, where is the connection?
The right nutrition can make a contribution to the fact that we sleep through relaxed and wake up in the morning rested. Anyone who suffers from sleep problems or other sleep disorders should know what a sleep-inducing diet can look like.
Dinner for the Sandman
Certain foods activate our body, stimulate the circulation and may affect sleep quality. These include caffeinated drinks. Even hard-to-digest food in the evening is not exactly sleep-inducing. Foods that are difficult to digest include, for example, fatty meats, French fries, cabbage or peppers. In addition to evening meals, which do not require heavy digestive work and the renunciation of stimulating stimulants, the nutrient intake also has an influence on the quality of sleep.
The importance of melatonin for sleep
Modern sleep research and medicine is increasingly concerned with sleep and nutrition. The messenger melatonin, which regulates our day-night rhythm, also plays a particularly important role here.
Melatonin is mostly produced in the midbrain by conversion of serotonin. However, its production is inhibited by light. Only when it gets dark, our body begins to convert serotonin into melatonin. When the level of melatonin in the blood rises, our body is prepared to sleep. This means that, for example, body core temperature and blood pressure are lowered and energy consumption is reduced.
Melatonin in food – eat right, sleep better
Melatonin is a natural substance that is also found in foods. However, it usually only occurs in very small quantities there. Only individual plant foods such as pistachios or cranberries have a higher content of melatonin.
Melatonin Source Cranberries in the glass – sleep and nutrition
Building blocks for melatonin production
The body can produce melatonin itself through several intermediate steps. This requires the amino acid tryptophan as a building block, as well as vitamin B6 and magnesium.
Nutritionists have developed a model that simplifies the pathway of food-borne tryptophan from the gut to the bloodstream and brain. The amino acid tryptophan can not be produced by the body, it has to be supplied by food.
Tryptophan-rich foods include cheese, meat, legumes, nuts and eggs. Good vitamin B6 suppliers are meat and fish, but also potatoes and whole grains. Magnesium is z. B. abundant in nuts, oatmeal and green vegetables.
Nutrients support natural relaxation
Various nutrients and plant extracts can help to calm down even after turbulent days. Thus, the amino acid glycine plays an important role in the brain metabolism or nervous system. It comes in natural form in many foods such. As meat, fish, nuts and oats.
Vitamin Niacin contributes to normal mental function and normal functioning of the nervous system. Niacin-rich foods include nuts, meat, fish and whole grains.
Burger on the grill – niacin-rich meat
Herbal companions to the realm of dreams
Certain plant extracts may be a natural basis for restful sleep.
Hops is a climbing plant that grows three to six meters high and flowers from July to August. It has a long tradition in Europe and has been cultivated since the early Middle Ages.
The lemon balm comes originally from southern Europe, but has long been native to our gardens. Melissa leaves smell slightly lemon-like when grated and are used, for example, as a spice or as a tea. Green tea is drunk especially in Japan and China, but also in this country he has many lovers. The content of theanine is generally higher in green tea than in black tea. Theanine is a type of amino acid that is found almost exclusively in the tea plant and makes the typical taste of green tea.