The surprising links between what you eat and how well you sleep

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The surprising links between what you eat and how well you sleep

by Ruth Alexander


Quote:Melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep and which rises in the evening, comes from a dietary amino acid called tryptophan. "So, if the hormone that regulates your sleep is produced entirely from an amino acid that must be consumed in the diet, then it makes sense that diet would be important in regulating sleep," she says.

And yet Dr St-Onge couldn't find any studies focusing on this relationship. So she and her team began looking at research into other health matters, which had recorded participants' sleep and dietary habits. Examining that data, a clear pattern emerged, she says.

Individuals who followed a Mediterranean-style diet - eating lots of fruits and vegetables, fish and whole grains - had a 35% lower risk of insomnia than those who didn't, and were 1.4 times more likely to have a good night's sleep.
So what is so sleep-inducing about that diet? Foods such as fish, nuts and seeds are high in melatonin-producing tryptophan.

And a number of small studies have shown that some specific foods such as tomatoes, tart cherries and kiwi fruit, which contain melatonin, may help people fall asleep more easily and stay asleep for longer.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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  • Brian
Serotonin also comes from tryptophan and is associated with good mood - also important for sleep.
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  • Sciborg_S_Patel

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