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World Sleep Day 2024: Healthy foods for improved sleep quality

Updated on: 15 March,2024 01:58 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |
Written by: Aakanksha Ahire |

To help yourself sleep better, the intake of certain foods plays a key role. On World Sleep Day 2024, we share a list of natural foods that are known to aid sound sleep

World Sleep Day 2024: Healthy foods for improved sleep quality

Image for representational purposes only. Photo Courtesy: iStock

Poor quality sleep is known to invite a string of health issues both mental and physical. However, for many of us, falling asleep is not easy and quality sleep seems like a myth given the heavy workload, stress and added faulty lifestyle habits. 

To help yourself sleep better, the intake of certain foods plays a key role.  On World Sleep Day 2024 Dr Arun Pillai, wellness director at Dharana at Shillim shares a list of natural foods that are known to aid sound sleep.

1. Warm milk
Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes the production of serotonin, which helps calm the mind and nervous system. This helps in digestion and provides nourishment as well as relieves anxiety and promotes a sense of well-being. Prepare a cup of warm milk (dairy or plant-based) with a pinch of nutmeg, cardamom or saffron. This Ayurvedic remedy can help induce sleep.

2. Bananas
Bananas also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that contributes to the production of serotonin and melatonin (hormones that regulate sleep cycle). They also provide magnesium and potassium, which help relax muscles and support deep sleep.

3. Saffron
Saffron milk or saffron-infused herbal teas are believed to have a calming effect on the mind and promote restful sleep. It acts as a natural mood enhancer and supports mental well-being. Saffron is also known to relax the mind.

4. Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb known for its stress-reducing properties. Consuming ashwagandha in the form of herbal teas or supplements may help improve sleep quality. It helps reduce stress and anxiety, supports body reactions to stressors and promotes better sleep.

5. Cherries
Cherries, especially tart cherries, are a natural source of melatonin. Consuming cherries may help improve sleep duration and quality. They also help in reducing insomnia symptoms.

6. Herbal teas
Drinking a warm cup of soothing herbal tea can be beneficial for calming the mind and body. Some Ayurvedic herbs are known for their calming properties and can promote better sleep. Herbs like chamomile, ashwagandha, Brahmi and liquorice are most recommended

While the consumption of natural foods is a great way to get sound sleep, there are certain things you must avoid doing. 

Avoid the consumption of sleeping pills or even cough syrups that are known to cause drowsiness. Using these as a means to fall asleep can be risky and should only be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional. These medications may have side effects, can be habit-forming and may interact with other medications. Non-pharmacological approaches, like sleep hygiene and relaxation techniques, are safer and more sustainable methods for improving sleep.

Disclaimer: This information does not replace professional medical advice. Consult a qualified specialist or your physician for personalised guidance.

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