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Category: sleep

Foods to Help You Sleep Better

In today’s fast-paced society, long days, late nights and a chronic lack of sleep are common complaints among Americans on the go. Busy schedules leave little time for yourself, which means that getting a good night’s rest is often hard to come by. And the distraction of technology doesn’t help us sleep, either. Approximately 63% of Americans say that their sleep needs are not being met during the week. But such a problem can easily be fixed with a few small changes to your diet. Here are eight foods that can help you get a better night’s rest naturally.

Fish: Fish is rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which raises serotonin levels that assist in producing the sleep-cycle controlling hormone melatonin.

Dairy: Dairy products like yogurt and milk are rich in melatonin-boosting calcium. Various studies have found that if you are calcium-deficient, you may have a more difficult time falling asleep.

Cherries: Cherries are one of the few foods that contain melatonin. Researchers who conducted a study found that participants who drank one glass of cherry juice in the morning and another glass of cherry juice at night reported better sleeping habits within two weeks.

Bananas:  Bananas are rich in potassium, but they’re also a good source of magnesium. These minerals help relax overstressed muscles. Magnesium deficiencies have also been related to restless leg syndrome, which can interfere with a good night’s sleep.

Nuts: Nuts are a good source of magnesium and calcium, which, as previously mentioned, can help you sleep. In addition, nuts contain unsaturated fats that help improve your serotonin levels. The protein you get from nuts can also help you maintain a stable blood sugar level.

Hummus: Chickpeas, the main ingredient in hummus, are rich in tryptophan, folate and vitamin B6. These nutrients are important to a restful sleep because folate helps regulate sleep patterns and vitamin B6 helps regulate your internal body clock.

Dark Leafy Greens: These greens are rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium, all of which play a key role in regulating and helping you sleep.

Tea: What could be more soothing than a hot cup of herbal tea before bedtime? Hot tea has been proven to help you sleep better thanks to its sleep-inducing properties and the amino acids that help reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Information gathered from an article originally published on Fox News.

Wake Up Without Coffee? Yes, It Is Possible!

Each morning, before starting the day, one of the first things people do is reach for their cup of caffeinated coffee to help jump-start the day. For these coffee lovers, the caffeine fix is a must, and not having it makes it hard to get through the morning. Coffee can be good and bad for you, as reported in our articles on its general health benefits and its link to liver health.

But having too much coffee on a daily basis, especially if it’s for the sole purpose of waking up, can be detrimental to your health in the long run. Here are ways that you can help yourself wake up without having to resort to coffee.

1. Try a few uplifting stretches.  Stretching in general is great for your body. Try some uplifting stretches in the morning because it will help stimulate your body to get moving.

2. Eat fruit. Eating fruit is one of the best ways to get your body moving in the morning. Apples contain natural sugars and other carbohydrates that can help stabilize your blood sugar in the morning. Other fruits will do the same and have the same effect. Plus, fruits are natural and you don’t have to worry about any extra preservatives or food dyes in your food!

3. Work out in the morning. It’s already hard enough to get out of bed, but as soon as you make the difference and adjust your schedule, working out in the morning will be a piece of cake. Early exercise routines will help your body wake up in the morning and jump-start your metabolism and other organ systems.

4. Get some fresh air. If you don’t like working out in the morning, the alternative is to take a stroll and get some fresh air. The fresh air and nature will help reduce feelings of stress and fatigue. Also getting some sunlight in the morning has been linked to a lower BMI and better mood.

5. Take a cold shower. A cold shower normally feels really great after a hot day or after an intense workout, but cold showers should be done more often. The instant change in temperature of the water can relieve stress and make you feel more alert. Even a splash of cold water on the face will have the same effect.

6. Drink a glass of cold water. A glass of cold water will help increase blood flow to your brain and get your brain pumping in the morning.

7. Drink tea. If you like to sip on something warm in the morning, try tea instead of coffee. Tea contains less caffeine than coffee and has other benefits like strengthening the immune system and lowering blood pressure.

8. Call Mom or someone you care for. Research suggest that by simply calling someone you care for, you can reduce your feeling of stress. Plus it’s important to stay in contact with the people you care about.

9. Give yourself a massage. Massages are a great way to relax and just get rid of all the tension built up in your muscles. Give yourself a massage to help reduce stress and to get your body more relaxed.

10. Make morning it’s own soundtrack.  Waking up  in the morning doesn’t have to be something to dread, and it doesn’t have to be horrible. Take each day by storm and remember that each day is a new day. There are endless possibilities and opportunities that can present itself each day.

Information gathered from Huffington Post