Leave the sheep counting to the shepherd the next time you can’t fall asleep – help may be as close to you as your fridge.
Ashley Sleep, one of the nation’s top mattress brands, recently published a list of 10 natural sleep aids to help consumers catch their ZZZs.
“What we put into our bodies prior to going to bed can really affect the level of sleep we get every night,” Ben Thorud, Senior Vice President of Ashley Sleep said in a news release. “If you’ve tried everything and you’re still experiencing sleeplessness, it may be time to explore other possibilities, including your diet.”
Although turkey’s high levels of sleep-inducing tryptophan came in at the top list, milk and dairy products were a close second.
Warm milk has always been a bedtime tradition, and now research has shown why it helps. In addition to tryptophan, milk, yogurt and cheese are all rich calcium, which may help reduce stress. Combined, tryptophan and calcium may enhance one’s ability to fall asleep by producing melatonin, a key role in regulating day-to-night cycles in the human body.
This isn’t the first time that milk has been considered as a sleep aid. In 2010 a German company released a milk powder that claimed to help insomniacs sleep better. More recently, a New Zealand-based milk powder manufacturer developed a similar product dubbed “Night Milk.” For both companies, cows milked just a few hours past midnight expressed more melatonin than those milked later in the morning, which in turn offers a natural sleep aid for those battling to get shut-eye. Read more.
In addition to turkey and dairy, Ashley Sleep also suggested consuming bananas, cherries, chamomile tea, hummus, almonds, warm oatmeal, peanut butter and hard-boiled eggs. Their interest in sleeping goes far beyond just the mattresses they manufacture; they also list several facts on the benefits of sleep, including what sleep deprivation can do to the immune system.