Medical conditions and work responsibilities can seriously affect the quality of sleep, but these problems can be alleviated by changing the right lifestyle.
Some health organizations encourage the consumption of fruits to improve the duration and quality of sleep.
The unique nutritional properties of cherries and kiwis, for example, improve overall sleep efficiency.
Research published in Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition highlights the benefits of kiwi for sleep.
According to the study, kiwi contains a group of medicinal compounds including antioxidants and serotonin.
Both molecules have proven useful in the treatment of sleep disorders, helping to improve the onset, duration, and quality of sleep.
This conclusion was reached after scientists conducted a study on a sample of twenty-four people aged 20 to 55 years.
All participants ate kiwifruit an hour before bed every night for four weeks while various measures of sleep were assessed.
After four weeks, patients showed a reduction in the time to wake up after the onset of sleep and a decrease in the time needed to fall asleep.
The scientists noted that “total sleep time and sleep efficiency increased significantly.” They concluded that “kiwifruit consumption may improve initiation, sleep duration, and sleep efficiency in adults with self-reported sleep disorders.”
While further research is needed to confirm these effects, there are plausible explanations for the sleep-promoting effect of kiwi fruit.
First, the serotonin content of kiwi fruit has been shown to play a unique role in regulating sleep cycles. This is because it is a precursor chemical to melatonin, the main hormone responsible for sleep.
More research is needed to understand the role of antioxidants in improving sleep, but studies have shown that low antioxidant levels are associated with poor sleep.
Dr. Michael Breus, clinical psychologist and expert in sleep medicine, added: “Kiwi isn’t the only food that can help you fall asleep. There are a number of other foods that can help you sleep. Foods rich in magnesium and potassium help improve sleep.” relaxation and circulation, and they include “Dark leafy greens, bananas, nuts, seeds, citrus fruits, tomatoes, whole grains. Calcium-rich foods help boost melatonin levels.”
Another sleep-healthy fruit often cited by health authorities is tart cherries.
And in one pilot study conducted by Louisiana State University, tart cherry juice extended the sleep time of older insomniacs by 84 minutes.
Not only does the fruit contain antioxidants, studies show that it is one of the only dietary sources of the sleep hormone melatonin.
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