What you eat affects the way you sleep – and vice versa. Specialists from the American National Health and Nutrition Monitoring Organization found that people sleeping seven or eight hours a day eat a variety of foods; those who drank water until five o’clock in the evening receive less vitamin C. There is less trace element selenium in their blood (nuts, meat and shellfish), which affects the function of the thyroid gland and can help maintain a stable metabolism.
A healthy balanced diet improves sleep, but diet is important. Try not to eat too much in the late evening, otherwise, when you go to bed, your body will still digest food. Meanwhile, it is important not to go to bed hungry (oops), since rumbling in the stomach is very distracting! A light snack an hour before bedtime will prevent the sugar level from falling at night. (See nutritional guidelines on page 99.)
INGREDIENTS ASSISTING TO LOW
Three substances contained in food cause a good sleep:
Tryptophan: an amino acid found in all proteins. The body uses tryptophan to form serotonin, which, in turn, is involved in the secretion of melatonin – the “sleep hormone”.
Serotonin: “the hormone of happiness,” which communicates between the brain and other cells. He begins to develop under the influence of sunlight and directs our mood. Lack of serotonin can cause anxiety and depression, as well as cravings for carbohydrate-containing foods (and they usually contain them). At night, serotonin is converted to melatonin.
Melatonin: a hormone that regulates the body’s daily rhythm and supports restful sleep. Serotonin is involved in its formation, it is found in some foods. The best way to ensure optimal melatonin production is to sleep as much as possible in a dark room. (Avoid taking supplements that contain melatonin, as this may adversely affect its natural secretion by your body.)