One of the most frustrating things for people with Adrenal Fatigue can be the difficulty getting off to sleep.
If your cortisol levels are out of step and you’re experiencing late night spikes which prevent you from sleeping, it may be time to look for new solutions to help you get some shut-eye.
Of course you could try the usual tricks, sticking to a routine, turning off your screens before bed…..but if you’re already doing all you can and it’s just not working, paying attention to what you eat may provide the solution.
Did you know that some foods are better than others for helping you naturally drift off to sleep?
Here’s a roundup of the best foods for insomnia, and some pretty good reasons for why you should be including them in your diet.
Ever wondered why people recommend a milky drink before bedtime? It contains tryptophan, an important amino acid that can help you drift off to sleep. Tryptophan helps your body to make serotonin and melatonin; the hormones which regulate sleep and govern your body clock.
Some people even claim that drinking milk from cows that are milked at night can be even more beneficial for insomniacs as it can contain up to 25% more melatonin than ordinary milk.
This blows the old wives tale about eating cheese before bed right out of the water. In fact in one study, scientists showed that three-quarters of the volunteers who ate 20g of cheese every night before bed reported improved sleep.
For a sweet night time beverage that’s guaranteed to send you happily to sleep, try grating a little fresh nutmeg into warm milk and sweetening with jaggery (unrefined palm sugar.) Nutmeg is also believed to contain natural sedative properties and has been used by herbalists for decades to promote natural sleep.
Poultry products such as chicken and turkey also contain tryptophan. However, try to avoid eating meat that has been processed or deep fried before bedtime as this can be very difficult to digest.
In a recent study, scientists found that eating kiwi fruit one hour before bedtime substantially increased the length of time participants were able to sleep. This could be down to the fact that kiwis are known to contain serotonin which promotes feelings of relaxation and rest. Kiwis are also a relatively low glycemic fruit that won’t affect your blood sugar too much.
If you’re going through a phase of acute insomnia, it may be worth packing a banana for lunch. This is because bananas contain high levels of Potassium, a deficiency of which has been linked to increased fatigue. Potassium also helps to relax tense muscles, one of the many reasons that some people find it difficult to drift off. Other potassium rich foods include avocados and natural yogurt. Keep in mind that those with late-stage adrenal fatigue might have a sodium-potassium imbalance, so be sure to balance these foods out with plenty of salt.
I’m not suggesting you eat a huge fish supper right before bedtime, but studies have shown that most fish (including salmon and tuna) contain high levels of vitamin B6 which your body needs to manufacture those all important sleep inducing hormones.
Most nutritionists agree that diet is closely linked to sleep patterns and that a deficiency of certain minerals may be a reason why some people suffer with insomnia. This makes sense when we see how adrenal fatigue can burn up minerals and hormone precursor materials that could well be needed to do other jobs.
In addition to eating a varied diet and including some of these key foods in your daily eating plan, it’s good common sense to avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol before bedtime. Both of these are known to disrupt healthy sleep.
If you’re still struggling with insomnia and are worried about the effect it’s having on your health, taking a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement may help you if you’re worried you’re not getting the fuel you need to get well. Choosing a reputable supplement, or making an appointment with a qualified nutritionist may be the missing key to give your body all the tools it needs to get a really great night sleep.
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