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Strategies to improve sleep


Some of the many practical recommendations to improve sleep via nutritional interventions: • High GI foods such as white rice, pasta, bread, and potatoes may promote sleep; however, they should be consumed more than 1 h before bedtime. • Diets high in carbohydrate may result in shorter sleep latencies. • Diets high in protein may result in improved sleep quality. • Diets high in fat may negatively influence total sleep time. • When total caloric intake is decreased, sleep quality may be disturbed. • Small doses of tryptophan (1 g) may improve both sleep latency and sleep quality. This can be achieved by consuming a supplement or approximately 300 g of turkey. • The hormone melatonin and foods that have a high melatonin concentration (e.g. tart cherries) may decrease sleep onset time. • Subjective sleep quality may be improved with the ingestion of the herb valerian

• correct nutrient deficiencies

• be consistent with your bed time routine

• kiwi fruit, tart cherry, low-fat dairy help promote sleep -

• eat berries regularly

• add beetroot, dark leafy greens for nitrates

• eat foods rich in Mg

• avoid mobile phone or flash lights 30 min before sleeping time

The ingestion of tart cherry juice (30ml) has been shown to increase urinary melatonin, and when consumed for a one week period was shown to result in modest improvements in sleep time and quality

Some Science:

Melatonin is a hormone that is involved in regulating sleep cycle & has strong antioxidant effect. Omega-3 and melatonin can both provide an antioxidant effect by increasing superoxide dismutase activity. Tryptophan can regulate sleep & circadian rhythms as it increases melatonin synthesis. Magnesium can enhance the activity of serotonin N-acetyltransferase, which is an enzyme required for melatonin synthesis.

Vitamin D receptors help with sleep regulation through regulating tryptophan hydroxylase-2 which expresses a Vit D response element at the gene level. Vitamin D can this regulate tryptophan conversion to serotonin to produce melatonin.

Micronutrient deficiency can certainly disrupt sleep, so correcting those nutrients through supplementation can also help sleep quality.

Not all of these nutrients are necessary for sleep, it is always important to personalize and also to ask a professional to supervise it.

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