Foods for Healthy Sleep


Dieticians do not recommend eating a lot of high glycemic index foods such as white bread, pasta, white rice because this may result in obesity and diabetes. But high glycemic meal can promote healthy sleep, according to researchers of the University of Sydney in Australia.

White Bread

In the trial, volunteers who ate high glycemic meal before bedtime fell asleep, on average, nine minutes earlier compared to those who ate low glycemic meal. These findings are interesting for those who have difficulties falling asleep but it would be unreasonable to have just pasta, potatoes and sweets for dinner because that could affect your waistline.

Researchers found that high glycemic index foods increased the concentration of tryptophan amino acid (a precursor of serotonin) in brain. Serotonin is a hormone that soothes anxiety and promotes healthy sleep. Tests showed that tryptophan levels increased three hours after eating lots of easily digestible carbohydrates.

So researchers say that one should eat three hours before bedtime to ensure healthy sleep.

You may have white rice or a couple of white bread toasts for dinner. This will boost tryptophan levels in brain, resulting in shorter sleep onset latency. Researchers also verified a long-standing habit of giving milk to children before bedtime. Milk contains a lot of tryptophan. Among tryptophan rich foods are turkey, cheese, nuts and spinach.

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