A plant-based diet to help you sleep better
Can a vegan diet improve your sleep? Many of us have nights when we know that we have to wake up earlier than usual, but instead of sleeping, our minds repeat the unpleasant experience of social interaction that goes back to middle school.
Sleep disorders are actually quite common. Studies show that about 30 percent of the population is affected by chronic insomnia. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 50 percent of the adult population sometimes suffers from insomnia. But can you improve the quality of your sleep by changing your diet?
Plant foods with melatonin
According to the Sleep Foundation, melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles, can help you sleep better. The body first produces melatonin by converting the tryptophan food to serotonin and then to melatonin. It is released by the pineal gland at night to encourage and maintain sleep.
Tryptophan is most often associated with turkey meat. But this generally accepted idea is actually wrong. There is no more tryptophan in Turkey than any other meat. The real culprit can be an extraordinary holiday meal. According to the foundation, eating high in carbohydrates can make you sleepy. This is because carbohydrates make tryptophan more accessible to the brain.
Protein is the basic ingredient of tryptophan, which is why a snack that combines protein and complex carbohydrates is the best snack for the bed. However, Live Science notes that you need to eat 15 grams of tryptophan to feel its calming effect. That would be equivalent to one pound of turkey.
Why take melatonin to sleep?
Melatonin supplements are a popular sleep aid: According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they used more than three million Americans in 2012.
Louis F. Buenaver, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral specialties specializing in behavioral sleep medicine at Johns Hopkins University, says that our bodies produce melatonin naturally. He recommends taking melatonin supplements for a short time, “if you suffer from insomnia, want to catch up, or night owls have to go to bed early and wake up early, for example for work or school.”
The body starts producing melatonin about two hours before going to sleep. To help your body produce melatonin, Buenaver recommends keeping the lights dim, removing your computer, smartphone or tablet, and staying at least a meter from your TV screen. You can also “reprogram” your body to produce melatonin to sleep at the right time and get enough sunlight in the morning and evening.
He added that supplements can help overcome insomnia. Studies also show that melatonin supplements can help insomniacs fall asleep faster.
Buenaver recommends taking one to three milligrams of melatonin before going to bed. You should stop taking it if it doesn’t work after a few weeks. According to John Hopkins, you should not use melatonin if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have autoimmune disorders, seizure disorders, or depression. People with diabetes or high blood pressure should consult their doctor.
CBD against melatonin
How does melatonin compare to CBD? To shorten cannabidiol, CBD is the second most common ingredient in the cannabis plant – the other is THC, which gives you high morale and body.
More research is needed to better understand whether CBD can help you sleep. Dr. Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and sleep doctor, told Bustle that many people associate CBD with sleep because of its anti-inflammatory properties. “We also know that it helps reduce inflammation. We know that lower inflammation helps sleep,” he said.
The best vegan food to improve your sleep
Do you want a better rest at night? As mentioned, you actually need to eat a lot of tryptophan to feel its effects. A small breakfast two hours before bedtime can still help you sleep, but am empty tummy is still the best cure and is guaranteed to make you sleep.