There are times when midway through the day you can just doze off anywhere. And, then there are times when you are so sleep deprived that nothing helps in catching up with the much needed zzz’s. Sleep deprivation and insomnia are unfortunately not given the due attention it deserves. In fact, meeting your other commitments at the cost of your sleep has traditionally been regarded as a heroic feat. But, clinically speaking, that is far from the case. According to experts, sleeping less than 8 hours a day could take a severe toll on your bodily functions. Our body needs a minimum of 8 hours to rest and recover from the day’s work. Not many of you would know, but sleep is linked to healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels, too. Inadequate sleep could cause irritability, hamper your focus and brain power, amount to weight gain and in worse cases, trigger depression. If there is a significant increase in your insomniac spells, it is advised to consult a doctor immediately. But, on domestic front too, there is a lot you can do to induce sleep. For instance, there are plenty of sleep inducing foods that you can include to your diet and catch up on your sleep.
1. Warm Milk
According to Ayurveda, a glass of warm milk is a perfect beverage to induce sound sleep. Science seems to back the idea, too. Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that converts into serotonin. Serotonin is known to have soothing effects in the brain, which helps you sleep well. According to ‘The Complete book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies,’ adding a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of cardamom and some crushed almonds would not only improve the taste of the milk, but also help promote good sleep. Even garlic milk is a good pick for inducing sleep. Mix together 1 cup milk, 1/4th cup water and 1 clove of fresh, chopped garlic. Boil the milk and consume warm.
Cherries contain melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. According to the book, ‘The Complete Book of Home Remedies’, cherries are ‘good mental fatigue and stress.’ Eating 10-12 cherries a day could help you catch some good sleep.