Its winter time! We either get to sleep more or we don’t get to sleep at all in winters. A sound sleep is a necessity for our bodies cellular level. When we sleep well our bodies repairs, we are able to lose weight, balance our hormones, build immunity, improve skin health, support heart health and the list can go on. In this article, I will outline top 5 foods and suggest some home remedies to help you sleep better this winter.
Nutmeg has plenty of health benefits. It has a sedative property for both body and mind. It calms our mind and relaxes our nervous system which helps us sleep better. In Ayurveda, it is suggested to use ½ teaspoon of nutmeg powder, 3-4 crushed almonds in a cup of milk in the evening or just before going to bed to help you sleep. Milk has tryptophan which helps in releasing happy hormones and when combined with nutmeg, it is a perfect sleep tonic. You can also apply a thin paste of nutmeg powder mixed with ghee to your eyes and forehead to help you sleep.
Cherries and Strawberries
Both cherries and strawberries are less in calories and are easily available in winters. Cherries contain melatonin. If you consume a glass of fresh cherry juice before going to bed, it will help you sleep better and reduce insomnia and reduce sleepless nights. If you cannot consume juice, you can eat handful of cherries after dinner. If you find it difficult to make cherry juice, you can also prepare cherry chutney with the help of this recipe below.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 cups pitted, halved cherries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion and pepper until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in ginger and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cherries, sugar, cider vinegar, lemon juice, and salt. Bring to a boil; lower heat to a rapid simmer and cook until sauce thickens, about 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a bowl or serving dish and set aside to cool. Chutney will continue to gel and thicken as it cools. Serve room temperature or store in fridge and serve cold.
Chamomile tea leaves have an antioxidant called “apigenin”. This compound helps to reduce stress and induce sleep. Practically, I have seen that people who consume a cup of chamomile tea after dinner feel much more relaxed and calmer and can sleep better. This tea is consumed without milk.
Benefits of banana are such that bananas are rich in tryptophan which are a precursor to happy hormone serotonin. Bananas also have vitamin B6 which assist in regulation of sleep hormone in the body. Just about 1 medium banana a day are enough to get the nutrients. How about create a banana milkshake.
Recipe for Sleep milkshake
- 1 fresh banana
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1 glass milk
- 1 date (seedless, soaked date)
- Mix all the ingredients in the blender and have 1 glass of this shake every evening.
Pistas contain phenolic compounds which prevents the breakdown of sleep hormone melatonin. Just by consuming 2-3 pistas a day or later in the evening can help maintain melatonin levels in the blood. Pistas are also rich in good fats, fiber, potassium (for heart health), phosphorous (great for bone health), Vitamin b6 (for hair, nails and skin care). Just 2 pistas are enough for you have a good sleep.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Pistachio
Other home remedies include warm oil massage over the body, rubbing warm oil either using sesame oil before bed helps in relaxing and makes you sleep better. A hot shower, meditation, yoga and deep breathing before going to bed or in the evening helps to relax body and mind and helps to sleep better. Wear anti blue light glasses – Melatonin is a sleep hormone which is naturally produced by the pineal gland of your brain in response to darkness. As soon as it starts to get dark the gland releases small amounts of melatonin, this helps in good sleep. When you experience waking up slowly or gradually in the morning this is because of melatonin. Research shows that blue light which is released from screens like mobiles, computers, tv etc can reduce melatonin in the body by immediately. If you cannot turn off your screens, you can wear a blue light filter sunglass or apply a thin film of anti-blue light glass on your screen.
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