Food for Sleep
By Nina Syahira
August 31, 2015
Everyone knows a healthy diet is essential for a good night’s sleep. This is simply because food can affect our overall health, ability to think and so much more! So what exactly should we be eating? First, we need to recognise what helps us fall asleep – a hormone known as melatonin.
Our body produces melatonin daily and it is secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. According to Dr Eric Teo, Director of Youngberg Wellness Centre, melatonin is responsible for enhancing a deeper and more natural sleep, causing drowsiness, lowering health risks like cholesterol and blood pressure and more.
The steps in the production of melatonin:
1. Drawing an amino acid called tryptophan from the blood by the pineal gland.
2. Tryptophan is then converted to serotonin, a reaction that is dependent on light.
3. Serotonin is then finally converted to melatonin, a process that must take place under conditions of darkness.
The body needs to get the right nutrients from the food you eat every day to aid in the production of melatonin. Besides tryptophan and melatonin, consuming food high in Vitamin B6 can help you sleep soundly at night. Vitamin B6 helps increase melatonin production by improving the body’s ability to regulate its use of tryptophan and signalling it to produce the calming hormone serotonin.
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Get active! Join SAFRA’s sports courses and activities!
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