May 31, 2014

Trouble Sleeping? Eat This!

If you follow me on Twitter, you will know I am not a great sleeper. In the past I have tried prescription medication to help with this, but over the past year I have opted for a more natural route. I have tried taking melatonin a few times. The first couple times it seemed to work, I would have a more peaceful, uninterrupted sleep and would wake up feeling refreshed and well rested. Then...it just stopped working. 


What is Melatonin?


Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland. It is responsible for controlling your sleeping and waking cycles, as well as regulating other hormones. 

Women, did you know it plays a role in regulating hormones including menstruation and menopause? I didn't! 

Research has shown that the melatonin that the body naturally produces does help regulate sleep; however, the synthetic melatonin has had less impressive results. Synthetic melatonin might be a good solution for someone suffering with occasional insomnia, but it doesn’t always offer long-lasting or significant results.

Going the Natural Route


There are so many things that can contribute to throwing off your natural melatonin production such as something as uncontrollable as getting older, jet lag, even working shift work.

But, before you get even more stressed out, recent research has shown that there are several foods that can help naturally increase melatonin production!

According to GreenMedInfo, researchers with Thailand’s Khon Kaen University found that some tropical fruits have significant effects on melatonin production. Scientists gave study subjects a variety of fruits and then measured the amount of melatonin circulating throughout the body by looking at 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (aMT6s).

This research found that pineapples, bananas, and oranges were able to increase melatonin presence significantly. Pineapples increased the presence of aMT6s over 266% while bananas increased levels by 180% and oranges by approximately 47%.

What to Eat?


Here is a list of foods that can naturally help increase melatonin in your body:
  • Pineapples
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Cherries
  • Sweet corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Barley
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Cherries