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Food and drink to help you sleep

A lack of sleep is a common complaint; according to a recent study by the BBC only one in 10 of us think we always get a good night’s kip.

Multiple studies have found a clear relationship between the quantity and quality of sleep and health problems, such as the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and depression. A lack of sleep is also believed to suppress the immune system, leaving you vulnerable to infections and increased appetite, contributing to weight gain.

Check out some tips and tricks for a better night’s sleep from renowned nutritionist Jo Lewin and others.

Tea

A nice cup of herbal tea (chamomile or green) before bed can minimise congestion and cut down on phlegm – both of which cause snoring.

Soy milk

Cow’s milk can trigger congestion and boosts the chances of snoring in people with lactose intolerance – instead opt for soy to avoid the problem.

Fish

Fish is full of good fatty acids that can reduce inflammation in the body and calm you down.

Other foods that aid sleep include yogurt, oats, bananas, poultry, eggs and peanuts, all of which contain good amounts of tryptophan a well known amino acid that causes sleepiness.

Things to avoid

  • Avoid watching TV or using your computer last thing at night, the unnatural light can trick your brain into thinking it’s still daylight hours.
  • Avoid foods such as pork, cheese, chocolate, aubergines, tomatoes and potatoes near bedtime as they are rich in an amino acid called tyramine, which the body converts to noradrenaline, a brain stimulant.
  • Although a couple of alcoholic drinks may help you to drift off to sleep, too much alcohol disrupts the body’s natural rhythms, so your sleep is less deep causing you to wake up more often.

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