sleeping girlInsomnia is not only a frustrating affliction, it can cause serious health outcomes. Quality sleep affects our health in a variety of ways—even increasing our risk of heart disease. While there are various tried and true natural sleep remedies such as chamomile, one new study suggests both Brazil nuts and milk could promote sleep by regulating minerals that could be lacking in the average insomniac.

The study looked at the health and sleep habits of more than 4,500 American adults. The researchers determined the selenium and potassium in Brazil nuts, along with the calcium in a glass of milk, could be just what the naturopath ordered.

“These findings suggest potentially natural and common-sense solutions to sleep problems,” said lead author Dr. Michael Grandner of Pennsylvania University. “Although there is still important work that needs to be done on cause-and-effect, there is a lot of research showing that non-medication approaches can be very helpful. Even sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia can be very effectively treated.”

The research found the odds of trouble sleeping were reduced by 20% when the intake of selenium was doubled. Further, the odds were reduced by 17% when calcium was increased.

Likewise, changing these dietary intakes also led to participants feeling more awake and less lethargic on the following days. Such feelings of tiredness were cut by 30% when potassium was doubled and 19% for calcium.

These aren’t the only foods or nutrients known to affect healthy sleep patterns, though.

Certain foods can boost the production of the hormone melatonin, known for regulating sleep-wake cycles. In particular, fruits like pineapples, bananas, and oranges were able to increase melatonin significantly. Here are 8 foods for boosting melatonin production for a better nights sleep.

Proper melatonin levels have also been linked to lowered risks of obesity, heart disease, and even cancer.

In addition to boosting melatonin, there are of course various herbal sleep remedies that may work for you. Things like lavender, California poppy, and chamomile may be solutions. Lastly, don’t forget to try the simple things like limiting caffeine consumption, turning all the lights off (even a bit before going to sleep), and staying active regularly to expend energy.

When it comes to getting a quality night’s sleep, there are several choices that can assist without the side effects of an over-the-counter medication or prescription sleep aid.

 


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