Natural Sleep Aids
Who hasn't received a tip about drinking warm milk, camomile tea or eating turkey to assist in getting a good night sleep? Ever wondered how much of it is true?
The team at Bedshed have explored the most common food and drink referred to as sleep inducers, recognising which is helping and which is just keeping you awake at night. Natural sleep aids may be the answer to many of our restless nights, so what works?
Food and Drink Sleep inducer myths
Sleep inducing food and drink may be the solution to getting a good night’s sleep while avoiding any heavy sleep assisting medications. It's important to determine what works and what products are just believed to be natural sleep aids.
The most common of them all - warm milk with the potential addition of cookies as a snack before bedtime. Urban legend tells us that milk contains an enzyme referred to as tryptophan, believed to produce sleepiness, along with the warmer temperature of the drink to make you drowsy.
The truth is, although this may be more of a psychological tradition into getting the young ones to sleep, a warm glass of milk only contains small levels of tryptophan has no direct link to causing sleepiness. In order for the enzyme to fully take effect it would need to be consumed in large doses. Although this method may not have scientific proof, there is certainly no harm in it - if it makes you and your family sleep better - do it!
Cherry juice, dried cherries, cherry tart and ripe cherries are all suggested to regulate the sleep-wake cycle in the human brain. There is no doubt that cherries are melatonin rich, but the question is how much needs to be consumed? Further studies are required to determine their effect, but one thing is certain that eating or drinking cherries before bed will not keep you awake at night..certainly worth a try!
Almonds are a good source of magnesium and tryptophan. Magnesium is believed to play a key role in the regulation of sleep, and as we know tryptophan can cause drowsiness.
A study published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine found that when the body's magnesium levels are too low, it makes it harder to sleep. The effects of almonds on your sleeping habits is, like anything dependant on how much is consumed.
Bananas contain essential vitamins and nutrients and are believed to be rich in magnesium and potassium. These vitamins essentially assist in relaxing muscles, exactly what you need for a good night’s sleep! So, try eating a banana one to two hours before bed and see the benefits for yourself.
People often associate your sleepiness after a big Christmas lunch with the turkey. Although turkey does contain tryptophan, the meat isn't anymore sleep inducing than any other food. A meal containing the meat will have no effect on your sleep.
One of the most popular 'known' natural sleep aids, camomile tea. Although there is no direct link to the herbal tea inducing sleep, the warmth of the tea and thinking that it has relaxing effects is beneficial psychologically.
Some food and drink may not be scientifically proven to induce and assist us in getting to sleep, however if it helps then it's certainly worth continuing with. We do recommend testing out the proven natural sleep aids such as almonds and bananas!