It’s something that should be as easy as breathing, but more and more of us are finding sleep to be a big problem. So much so, that the Centre for Disease Control & Prevention has proclaimed insufficient sleep a public health epidemic. If you are constantly chasing those elusive 8 hours, something you may not have considered is the effect food and drink can have on the quality of your sleep.
Many sleep issues come down to having a hormone imbalance. In their most basic form hormones are chemical messengers the body produces which bring about different physiological responses. It is the main function of the hormone, melatonin, to regulate sleep patterns, and it’s this hormone that we are targeting with specific food and drink.
Melatonin should be secreted by the brain as soon as it starts to get dark outside. Maintaining optimal levels of this hormone is key to making sure that you are able to fall asleep soundly. Melatonin often gets knocked sideways when you travel long distances through different time zones, but aside from that it really doesn’t take much for levels to take a beating. Watching TV at night, constantly checking your smart phone and being exposed to invasive street lighting can all contribute to an environment unfavourable to optimal melatonin levels. Based on those facts it won’t come as a surprise when I tell you that its important to set yourself a cut-off time for electronic gadgets and get yourself a set of black-out blinds! But, we can give our melatonin levels a helping hand with the foods and drinks you choose to eat at dinner time.
Tart Montmorency cherry juice is not only delicious and full of antioxidants, but has also been shown to increase levels of melatonin and enhance sleep quality. All you need is one 30ml serving at breakfast with another serving half an hour before the evening meal. Luckily this is readily available. Try Cherry Active