What Is Insomnia
We all experience insomnia from time to time. But persistent insomnia leads to sleep deprivation and a real threat to our health and well-being! More than one third of adults suffer from various forms of insomnia!
Insomnia is the persistent difficulty to fall asleep, remain asleep or both. And when you do finally fall asleep, you awaken unrefreshed and tired.
Some causes of insomnia include depression, anxiety, stress, and medical conditions such as chronic pain, thyroid disease, arthritis, stomach conditions, acid reflux, cancer, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. Other causes are a disruption in your sleep schedule due to travel or work. Consuming caffeine, alcohol, large meals and chocolate, and smoking before bed can also lead to insomnia!
Even too much exercise before sleep can cause a disruption.
Results of lack of sleep on a routine basis leads to anxiety, excessive tiredness, frustration, depression, hypertension, cognitive dysfunction, difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, increased errors and accidents, stomach distress, migraines, chronic pain, and excessive worry about sleeping and getting enough rest! And that’s just the short list!
Changing your habits can go a long way to reducing and even eliminating insomnia! Consuming more fruits and vegetables and reducing some of, if not all, the causes of insomnia such as caffeine, alcohol, and just changing when and what you eat can have a huge effect on insomnia!
Top Fruits & Vegetables
- Apples provide a rich resource of nutrients, from B-complex compounds, in particular B-6, to folates, fibre, magnesium, potassium and even calcium – all of these are key to a good night’s sleep.
- Bananas are rich in potassium as well as fibre. They’re also high in B-complex compounds, in particular, a wealth of B-6; magnesium, folates, calcium and trace amounts of many amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids. Bananas also contain a high quantity of tryptophan, a known sleep and relaxation-inducing chemical.
- Green leafy vegetables such as Swiss chard, collard greens, spinach, beet greens, and cruciferous veggies such as kale, broccoli and cauliflower are all especially helpful for sleep and insomnia. A cup of steamed collard greens or spinach before bed could really go a long way to helping you fall asleep and stay that way!
- Cherries and grapes both provide melatonin in rich amounts. Melatonin assists in a good night’s sleep, and natural sources are more effective for us than supplements!
- Kiwi fruit is loaded with magnesium and greatly reduces restlessness and insomnia. It also contains high amounts of serotonin, potassium and fibre. Recent studies conclude that kiwi is as effective as over-the-counter sleep aids!