Foods Deep Sleep:
Foods That Promote Deep Sleep
Dr. Ben Kim
you are following sound advice on how
to get a good night's sleep, but are still having trouble sleeping soundly,
you may want to try eating a bedtime snack that combines a concentrated dietary
source of tryptophan with a healthy carbohydrate-rich food.
is an amino acid that your body cannot make; you must obtain it from the foods
that you eat. Once tryptophan crosses your blood-brain barrier to gain access
to your brain, it is used to make a hormone called serotonin.
acts within your body to promote feelings of sleepiness, calm, and relaxation.
adequate levels of serotonin in your system, you will have a hard time feeling
sleepy enough to rest soundly. And without adequate levels of tryptophan within
your brain, you will not be able to produce significant amounts of serotonin.
challenge with shuttling tryptophan through to your brain is that it has to compete
with other amino acids for access to the limited number of channels that line
your blood-brain barrier. And tryptophan tends to be outnumbered by other amino
acids in natural foods.
key to getting enough tryptophan to your brain to sleep well at night is to combine
a tryptophan-rich food with a carbohydrate-rich food. This is because ingesting
a carbohydrate-rich food causes your body to release insulin, which diverts many
of your other amino acids away from your brain, leaving tryptophan with little
competition to cross your blood-brain barrier to gain access to your brain.
is a list of some healthy foods that are naturally rich in tryptophan:
grains, including rice
(fermented soy beans)
dairy products (if you can tolerate dairy)
you combine any of the food listed above with a healthy carbohydrate-rich food
as an evening snack, you will provide your body with a good opportunity to produce
enough serotonin to facilitate a good night's rest.
follows are some suggestions for healthy meals and snacks that combine a tryptophan-rich
food with a carbohydrate-rich food:
with miso soup
grain pita with hummus (add tomato and red onion slices for flavor)
grain crackers with organic peanut butter (add a touch of honey for sweetness,
whole grain cereal with soy milk
black beans, and guacamole
with steamed broccoli
with whole grain toast
the possible combinations of tryptophan-rich foods and carbohydrate-rich
foods are endless. Be creative and enjoy the process of figuring out
which combinations suit your palate and help you sleep like a bear.
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