Dietary changes may help combat insomnia

Getting enough shuteye is hugely important to people. If they consistently fail to sleep properly, they can experience a range of ill-effects. For example, they can become tired and irritable, and they may find it hard to maintain their concentration. Also, a lack of sleep can take its toll on individuals’ appearances, leading to dark circles under the eyes.

It is no surprise then that many consumers are keen to invest in top-quality bedsteads and mattresses. By making sure they have a comfortable place to rest, people can boost their chances of nodding off.

 Meanwhile, as well as making sure they have access to the best beds, individuals may also benefit from thinking about what they eat. According to a report in the Mirror, insomnia can be caused by bad diets. The publication stated: “Diet makes all the difference between a good night’s sleep and a bad one.”

 It pointed to a study published in the journal Appetite that found considerable differences in the diets of people who slept the longest number of hours compared with those who struggled to get enough shuteye. The individuals who slept for under five hours tended to drink less water, get less vitamin C and have less selenium, which is found in nuts, meat and shellfish.

 Longer sleep was associated with consuming more carbohydrates and less chocolate and tea, as well as less choline, which is found in eggs and fatty meats.

 Commenting on the issue, nutritionist Linda Foster said: “It makes perfect sense that our diet can affect our sleep quality. Some foods such as bananas contain high levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that makes you sleepy, so they can be a great help in combating insomnia. From a medical standpoint, we know that deficiencies of key minerals such as calcium and magnesium are linked to certain sleep disorders.”

 Meanwhile, the news source went on to state that scientists recommend avoiding food for three hours before bedtime, as this allows people’s bodies to go into “wind-down mode and release the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin”.

 One woman who has experienced sleep benefits after changing her diet is Joanna Salzmann. The 37-year-old chemist and mother revealed she had suffered with sleep problems for a decade and doctors had not been able to pinpoint the cause.

 She added:  “Then last year a friend told me she’d been getting the best sleep of her life since improving her diet to train for a charity run. She’d been eating wholemeal carbs, fish, fruit and veg and had ditched tea, coffee and alcohol. This struck a chord with me as my food habits were pretty bad – I relied on tea and chocolate to get me through a busy day at work, skipped lunch, then tucked into a ready meal and a few glasses of wine around 10pm.”

 After overhauling her diet for a fortnight, Ms Salzmann found she was falling asleep within 15 minutes of her head hitting the pillow.

 By making sure they have the ideal beds and by eating a healthy diet, consumers may be able to improve their sleeping routines.

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