Dietary Patterns And Sleep Quality

Associations between sleep quality and dietary patterns were recently reported in a cross-sectional study and reviewed that high intake of confectionary and noodles ( means taking refined carbohydrates ) was associated with poor sleep quality, whereas a high intake of fish and vegetables was associated with good sleep quality. The quality of carbohydrate seemed to be more important than its quantity. Poor sleepers with the highest carbohydrate intake consumed more confectionary and noodles than wheat or rice or jowar ( means complex carbohydrates ) than did good sleepers with a similarly high carbohydrate intake.

Other eating patterns indicative of poor dietary habits were also related to sleep quality. For example, skipping breakfast and eating irregularly were strongly associated with poor sleep quality. 

Eating—and drinking—for better sleep means more than just avoiding caffeine and heavy, heartburn-inducing foods at night.

Melatonin, is a hormone which regulates our sleep pattern. Certain foods and beverages could actually help to increase this hormone release and help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. Here are some things to put on your grocery list for more restful nights.

Complex Carbs
Skip the white bread, refined pasta, and sugary, baked goods, which may reduce serotonin levels and impair sleep. Instead, choose stick-to-your-ribs whole grains for your bedtime snack: Oatmeal or whole-wheat khakra ( preferably home made ) with nut butter or home made cow ghee are all good choices.

A Handful of Nuts
Nuts are a good source of heart-healthy fats. And almonds and walnuts, specifically, contains melatonin. Eating them can increase your blood levels of the hormone, helping you sleep more soundly. 

Cottage Cheese
Foods that are high in lean protein, like cottage cheese, also pack the amino acid tryptophan, which may increase serotonin levels. Serotonin is a brain chemical and low levels of it can contribute to insomnia. To sweeten it up, top the cottage cheese with raspberries, which are rich sources of melatonin.

A Cup of calming Tea
A cup of tea (avoid caffeine, of course) can be a perfect relaxing ritual. Chamomile, ginger, and peppermint are calming choices of tea.
( though relaxing, they are actually varieties of tea, hence better to have them
before 5 pm. As any stimulant taken after 5pm May disturb your sleep pattern)

Warm Milk
Scientifically, there may be some link between the tryptophan and melatonin content of milk and improved sleep. But perhaps more powerful is the psychological link between warm milk and bedtime as a child. A warm drink of milk can provide the perfect soothing backdrop for a relaxing bedtime routine.


Some Herbs are very useful in stimulating and maintaining sleep. One of them is nutmeg ( jaifal ) powder.
This can be added to bedtime milk.
Also, herbs like pippari mool, ashwagandha, shatavri, jatamansi etc.
All are easily available at any ayurvedic shop.

Certain fruits that contain melatonin may help you fall asleep faster and wake up less often during the night. For instance, tart cherry juice and whole tart cherries contain a lot of melatonin, and bananas, pineapple, and oranges are also sources. If you have insomnia, eating two kiwis before bed can increase your sleep duration by an hour over the course of a month. Other fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants (like berries, prunes, raisins, and plums) may have a similar effect by helping to counteract the oxidative stress caused by a sleep disorder.


Disturbance in sleep can also be due magnesium deficiency. Magnesium plays a role in supporting deep, restorative sleep by maintaining healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. So food rich in magnesium like
Green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocados, bananas, tofu etc are some good options to be included in diet.

Hope you found this useful !! 🙂

Dr. Mansi Pujara

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