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Foods to Eat and Avoid for a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is divine! Food plays a major in indulging you into sleep. There are some food items that can put you to sleep while others that can keep you awake all night long.

Foods essential for providing natural sleep

1. Protein-rich foods
Include protein-rich foods in your diet regularly. They contain essential amino acids like tryptophan, a precursor for the synthesis of melatonin, an hormone responsible for inducing sleep. Our body requires approximately 40-50 grams of protein per day. This can be achieved by eating more of yoghurt, cotton cheese, egg whites, soya milk, tofu, quinoa, wheat germ, fish, beans and lentils, seeds and nuts (unroasted and unsalted) instead of using sleeping pills. Daily intake of protein is required but must be avoided just before going to bed as they can be hard to digest affecting sleep quality.

2. Magnesium – rich foods
Magnesium loaded foods such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sea foods help convert tryptophan to melatonin. High content of magnesium is also found in green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale and dried fruits such as dried apricots or figs. Grinding the dried seeds of pumpkin or sunflower and adding it to your salad, yoghurt or oat porridge can prove beneficial in sleeplessness.

3. Maintain electrolyte balance
Drinking a glass of pure coconut water before going to bed can promote restful night’s sleep. Coconut water is an excellent source of electrolytes and minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and sodium. Balanced levels of these minerals are necessary to maintain normal muscle/nerve functions and hydration. Deficiencies or imbalances may cause cramping and restless legs at night resulting in disturbed sleep. One can try herbal tea made from chamomile, passionflower or valerian as these herbs help induce sleep when taken before going off to bed.

Foods that must be avoided before going to bed

1. Caffeine intake at night
Say no to coffee, tea, dark chocolate, cocoa beans, soft drinks like coke and red bull containing caffeine. Caffeine shows a negative effect on sleep. It releases stimulatory neurochemicals in the brain promoting alertness and provides energy, too.

2. Alcohol
Although, people believe that alcohol induces sleep and drowsiness, it is likely to keep you awake throughout the night. Studies indicate that alcohol increases slow-wave “deep” sleep during the first half of the night, but then increases sleep disruptions in the second half of the night.

3. Unhealthy Fatty Foods
Consuming oily foods at night disrupt your sleep-wake cycle and result in excessive daytime sleepiness. This is majorly due to the release of neurochemicals that activate your brain. Try avoiding unhealthy and fried foods such as burgers, pizzas, potato chips, popcorn, etc. at night.

What supplements might help to treat insomnia?

Zzowin, an herbal formulation by Charak Pharma helps to win over sleep. It is a synergistic combination of herbs to regulate the secretion of melatonin and other sleep-promoting neurochemicals naturally and thus useful in sleep disorders. Zzowin is a natural sleep regulator that induces sleep by normalizing sleep-wake cycle with the herbs like Ashwagandha, Tagar and Jatamansi. While Yastimadhu and Mandukparni help relax and reduce anxiety to improve quality and quantity of sleep. So supplement yourself with 2 tablets of Zzowin, a sleep supporting medicine, about two hours before bed time to restore your natural sleep-wake cycle without any side effects.

To get a free consultation from Dr.Charak, please visit

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