Eat to sleep. What foods improve sleep Healthy living Health

The importance of sleep in our lives is hard to overestimate. Thanks to him, our body rests, the hormonal system is balanced, the metabolism is normalized, all systems are regulated, they come to a healthy state. It has long been known that if you want to lose weight, adjust your diet, make it healthier, then the first thing to look out for is your sleep pattern. If you do not get enough sleep, then you eat more, you often eat too much and you can not lose weight – that is, you only worsen your health. AiF asked doctors about how diet affects sleep and what foods you should eat to improve your sleep, fall asleep easier and get enough sleep.

It is not possible without them

The main vitamins and minerals that affect the quality of sleep are iron and zinc. “B-complex vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron, melatonin, the amino acid tryptophan are very important for sleep,” he says. gastroenterologist, nutritionist and therapist Irina Nepomnyashchikh.

But getting all the essential minerals and vitamins is only half the battle. “In order to assimilate all the elements, the correct digestion cycle must pass and only a healthy gastrointestinal tract and a healthy epithelium, which fully performs its function, can ensure it”, adds the expert.

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to sleep disorders. According Anna Makarova, otolaryngologist, vitamin D, for example, has a relaxing effect, is involved in the production of serotonin (the hormone of “happiness”). Magnesium is also needed for the synthesis of melatonin, the sleep hormone.

What is

We can get all the above important vitamins and minerals from food, from products that appear daily on our table. “It is believed that foods such as bananas, almonds, milk have a beneficial effect on sleep,” he says. neurologist Alexei Borisov. – They have a fairly large amount of magnesium and tryptophan (an amino acid required for the synthesis of serotonin and melatonin). It may make sense to consume a small amount of honey before bed, which affects the insulin regulatory system, which improves tryptophan metabolism. It is magnesium, tryptophan and, because of this, serotonin and melatonin that regulate sleep processes to a greater extent.

“B vitamins are found in meat, poultry, dairy products, whole grains, legumes,” recalls Irina Nepomnyashchikh. – Vitamin D – in fatty fish, eggs, is also produced when exposed to the sun.

Vitamin E found in unprocessed vegetable oils, nuts.

Calcium found in dairy products, legumes, nuts and seeds.

Magnesium in nuts and seeds, bran.

Iron in red meat, organ meats, shellfish, legumes, seeds, nuts and spinach.

tryptophan in fish, red meat, poultry, legumes, nuts, dairy products.

Melatonin they are tomatoes, ginger, mint, green tea, bananas, Brussels sprouts “.

As you can see, these are all fairly simple products, many of which we use quite often. In addition to food, nutrition is also important, because it is the one that affects the health of the gastrointestinal tract.


“When the diet is balanced, all the elements come in, are absorbed in a healthy gastrointestinal tract and there are no deficiencies,” says Irina Nepomnyashchikh. – The diet helps the digestive system to function properly, “rests during sleep”, so the last meal is recommended to be lighter and 3 hours before bedtime. If you eat before going to bed, the gastrointestinal tract will work and a person waiting for a restless night, which does not contribute to proper rest, fatigue may be felt in the morning. “A strong feeling of hunger also does not contribute to sleep, which is why it is so important to follow a diet.”

According to Anna Makarova, snacking on the go, as well as long intervals between meals, when a person does not have time to eat most of the day and eats too much for dinner, have a bad effect on sleep. “The hormonal background is disturbed, therefore sleep disturbance, abnormal body function”, warns the expert.

Some experts believe that diet is even more important than increasing the focus on foods with tryptophan or melatonin. “It’s worth noting that the importance of food in regulating sleep can be overstated,” warns Aleksey Borisov. – With a balanced diet, in the absence of strict diets, deficiency conditions are rare. Much more important in the modern urbanized world is the level of lighting, especially in the blue spectrum. With the fight against excessive light we have to start the fight against bad sleep. At least an hour before bedtime, it is worth limiting work with a computer, gadget, watching TV shows. “Light suppresses melatonin production and disrupts sleep.”

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