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Eating Affects Sleep

It has been found through research that what you eat can affect your sleep. One of the ways to a restful sleep at night is to keep the brain calm rather than agitated. Tryptophan, an amino acid, helps to make serotonin and melatonin which are important neurotransmitters that affect sleep. Tryptophan-rich foods include milk, curd, oats, banana, dry dates, peanuts, fish, sesame seeds.  Coffee, chocolate, aerated drinks, alcohol, smoking and vigorous exercise 2 to 3 hours before sleep can work against a peaceful night.

The two main stages of one′s sleep are:

  • REM (Rapid Eye Movement) - contributes to mental consolidation
  • Non-REM - Aids physical repair and rebuilding
Usually during normal sleep you alternate between the two stages approximately 4-5 times.

Insufficient number of hours of sleep contributes to -

  • Mental irritability (5-6 hours of sleep) due to lack of REM sleep
  • Physical tiredness (<5 hours of sleep) due to lack of non-REM sleep
Lack of sleep can affect your Mental and Physical health adversely causing severe damage to your fitness.

Effects of sleep deprivation on the brain and body are:

  • Neurons start malfunctioning
  • Slurring of speech
  • Slows imaginative thinking
  • Hallucinations
  • Learning capabilities are reduced
  • Causes a ′sleep debt′, which when coupled with stress and hypertension can lead to a stroke or heart attack

Common Symptoms

  • Irritable, anger and snappish behavior
  • Lack of motivation and poor concentration
  • Weakness, morning headaches and high BP
Here are a few recommendations for a good night sleep:
  • Indulge in stress busting activities before bed time, like listening to music, reading a book, take a hot water bath, drink a glass of milk, etc.
  • One should avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) and nicotine (cigarettes and other tobacco products) close to bedtime
  • A well balanced diet and sufficient nutrients
If you are an athlete you need to bear in mind that in case you are a runner, your body needs an extra hour of sleep to repair any running related tissue/cell damage.
Read what Ayurveda has in store for you - Ayurvedic Tips for Good Health

Do you think you may be a victim of a sleep disorder?  Take our Sleep Test

For more information on Yoga, Ayurveda, diet, nutrition, health, weight loss or fitness contact DesiDieter Health Experts.


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