Moving the clock has a negative effect on sleep, but a good diet helps you sleep better
Sleep, the 10 tricks to fall asleep faster
Every year, when it comes to moving the hands of the clock, it can happen that you have some difficulty falling asleep. In fact, the transition to solar time affects the sleep cycle, with effects that also affect physical well-being: anxiety, nervousness and headaches are the first symptoms of an insomnia problem. However, a healthy diet can relieve these annoyances.
What is the relationship between sleep and nutrition? In fact, it is quite intuitive to understand how food profoundly affects the way we sleep – or how hard we fall asleep. It will have happened to anyone to have a disturbed night due to some excess at the table, or on the contrary to be unable to sleep due to hunger. There are also particular foods that can compromise night rest, in particular those that are difficult to digest and those containing exciting substances.
Coldiretti has drawn up guidelines to ensure the best sleep just in conjunction with the arrival of solar time: just pay attention to our eating habits to gain a night's rest. What are the foods that stimulate falling asleep? Pasta, bread, rice and barley are rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes the synthesis of serotonin. This neurotransmitter, also known as the happiness hormone, increases the sense of well-being and promotes relaxation.
Among the main sources of tryptophan there are also legumes, eggs, fish, meat (especially pork and turkey) and fresh cheeses. Other foods that stimulate the production of serotonin are those rich in simple sugars, especially fruit – even better if in season. As for vegetables, Coldiretti highlights how lettuce, red radicchio and garlic have strong sedative properties, followed by pumpkin, turnips and cabbage.
One of the grandmother's remedies par excellence, also excellent for solving insomnia problems, is a good glass of warm milk before bedtime. In fact, scientific studies prove the truth of this statement: several substances contained in this drink relieve nervousness and help improve sleep quality, as well as relieve the symptoms of gastric reflux – one of the main causes of disturbed nights. Even better, as research published in Clinical Nutrition ESPEN reveals, if we add a teaspoon of honey to it.
Finally, mental predisposition also plays a fundamental role. An after-dinner dessert, thanks to its simple sugars, has an anti-stress action and increases the feeling of well-being, while a hot herbal tea creates a relaxing atmosphere that helps you fall asleep.
On the other hand, particularly seasoned foods should be avoided, in particular with an abundance of curry, paprika, pepper and salt: the latter, in a study published in the Journal of Sleep Research, was related to a difficulty in maintaining sleep. Due to the high sodium content, canned foods and dishes in which the cooking cube has been used are therefore not recommended.
Equal attention must be paid to the consumption of chocolate, cocoa, tea and coffee: these foods contain caffeine, an exciting substance that makes it more difficult to fall asleep. Finally, it is better to avoid spirits, which induce poor quality sleep.