47% of Brits admit to being kept up at night by stress and a typical person sleeps just six hours and 35 minutes per night
According to the latest Bedtime Report produced by the National Bed Federation’s Sleep Council, 47% of Brits admit to being kept up at night by stress and a typical person sleeps just six hours and 35 minutes per night, falling well short of the recommendation that we should all asleep for at least eight.
Make sure that you have enough protein during the day. ‘High-protein foods are meats, fish, beans and lentils, seeds and nuts (choose unsalted and raw rather than roasted). Protein foods provide the amino acid tryptophan, which converts to the hormones serotonin and melatonin; melatonin in particular is needed for good sleep.
A good amount of protein is about 0.8–1g per kg body weight per day, so for a woman of 50kg for example, a good amount is 40-50g per day. Avoid too much high-protein food in the last few hours before bed however, as they can be hard to digest
2. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are high in natural magnesium. One of the roles of magnesium is allowing the muscle fibres in our body to relax (it counteracts calcium, which causes muscles to contract). It is also thought that magnesium has a role in the normal function of the pineal gland, which produces melatonin – a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and helps us to fall asleep.
3. Coconut water
Try drinking a glass of pure coconut water in the evening to help you to have a restful night’s sleep. ‘Coconut water is an excellent source of ‘electrolyte’ minerals: potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and sodium. Balanced levels of these minerals are necessary to maintain normal muscle action, nerve function and hydration in our body. Deficiencies or imbalances may cause cramping and restless legs at night, and therefore disturbed sleep.