8 Raw Foods To Improve Insomnia & Help You Catch Your Zzz’s
– by Stephanie Gadsden
If Sleeping Beauty was around today, I’m sure she would have been a Raw Diva! There is no way she could have slept so soundly without using the natural power of raw food.
Many of us (myself included) have at one time or another dreaded that time of night when the city sleeps and it is time to for us to rest our heads.
If you’ve tried every remedy under the sun (or should I say moon) with no success, do not fear – the solution is here! And it comes in the form of raw foods.
What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a disorder where an individual cannot get to sleep and/or stay asleep. Sleep is needed for proper immune functioning and rejuvenation of the body. Lack of sleep can have profound health impacts, leading potentially to mood disorders, cardiovascular disease, increased risk of accidents, and poor attention and concentration. Insomnia can be caused be a multitude of factors such as poor diet, use of stimulants, excessive worry, and from high cortisol levels as a result of prolonged stress, anxiety or mood disturbance.
Insomnia & Diet
Use of stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine close to bedtime can greatly affect sleep (even within 8 hours of sleep). It is best if you suffer from sleep disturbances that you avoid caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee.
Diets high in refined carbohydrates (sugar) can disrupt blood sugar levels also leading to sleep disturbances.
A high raw food diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables may be the key to a good night’s sleep.
8 Raw Foods to Improve Your Sleep
- Cherries: Increase the production of melatonin.
- Guava: Packed full of the amino acid tryptophan (a precursor to melatonin) which aids in sleepiness.
- Almonds, Sesame Seeds & Sunflower Seeds: These are also high in tryptophan.
- Pumpkin Seeds: These delightful treats contain magnesium, helping to relax your mind and muscles so you drift off into a deep sleep.
- Green Leafy Vegetables: Contain key cofactors for the synthesis of sleep hormones.
- Kelp: This seaweed is one of natures’ highest sources of calcium, which has been shown to promote sleep.
6 Traditional Chinese Herbal Remedies for Insomnia
Traditional Chinese Herbs have been used for thousands of year to improve sleep. Key herbs such as zizyphus, happy bark, dragon bone, magnolia, ophipogon and chyrsanthynum are used to “energetically” calm the heart and clear excess heat that may be contributing to sleep difficulties.
In Chinese medicine the heart is the organ that governs the mind. Modern evidence is revealing that these natural products have a range of biological effects on brain chemicals such as serotonin and GABA, which are involved with reducing anxiety and promoting sleep.
9 Natural Remedies for Insomnia
Sleep hygiene techniques have been shown to improve insomnia.
Follow these tips to ensure a good night’s rest:
1. Sleep in a dark well-ventilated room.
2. Make sure the temperature is ideal for sleep. Neither too hot or too cold.
3. Avoid consuming stimulants before bed.
4. Avoid stimulating activity before bed such as working late or watching T.V.
5. Go to bed when feeling sleepy. After 20 minutes if you find yourself lying there staring at the ceiling, get out of bed and engage in a quiet activity until you feel sleepy.
6. If you are a worry wart, keep a note pad by your bed and write down any thoughts. This will help clear your mind so you can fall asleep with ease.
7. Get up at the same time every day no matter how much or little you’ve slept. This will help to regulate your internal body clock.
8. Remind yourself that it is okay to wake during the night as your body is just following its natural sleep rhythms.
9. Make your bedroom a place of rest — Avoid clutter and stimulating colours.
We Are Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On
A wise man (aka David Wolfe) once said that we should think of sleep as food, while an ancient Chinese proverb states that “good sleep is worth a thousand tonics”. We need sleep and we can’t live without it.
If you are not sleeping well, have a look at your lifestyle and determine what may be missing or what may be in excess. Is it stress, a poor diet, or poor sleep hygiene? Once you’ve figured it out (usually it will be staring you in the face), get on the change train and fix it, so you can get to sleep, stay asleep and wake up refreshed ready to take on the day.
Next, take moment to consider how to include in your diet foods that may benefit your health and improve your sleep, such as cherries, leafy greens, nuts and seeds and guava, and consider consulting a Chinese herbalist.
Herbs to Restore Your Healthy Sleep Habits
With Herbal Health Talks you can learn:
· THE herb that’ll help you sleep like a baby.
· The difference between sedatives and tonics.
· An herbal sleep solution for kids!
· The best calming herbs to help you relax.
· The best sedative herbs to help you sleep.
· Herbs to take for exciting & vivid dreams.
· The herbs for avoiding nightmares.
· An herb will help you regulate your sleep cycle.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, don’t pop sleeping pills. Heal with herbs, instead.