As we get older, our sleep patterns change, and sometimes we have trouble sleeping. We may have trouble getting to sleep at night, or sleeping all the way through.
Certain foods are known to help us get to sleep naturally. So wouldn’t it be great to have an evening snack that combines some of these foods? Some foods increase glycine, serotonin, tryptophan or melatonin. You might first try incorporating a relaxing warm beverage as part of your nightly routine.
Glycine is an animo acid. It has been found to increase serotonin without increasing dopamine levels. We become more relaxed, and glycine has also been shown to reduce “spinning thoughts”. It’s available in supplements, but chamomile tea has been shown to increase glycine, so this is worth considering. However, consult your doctor, because you can be allergic to chamomile, especially if you are allergic to daisies or asters, and if you are taking medicine to lower blood pressure, or if you are like me and have low blood pressure already, chamomile may make your blood pressure too low. Also chamomile that is too concentrated can cause nausea or vomiting. This all seems a little risky to me for a first step.
I’m a fan of warm milk instead of chamomile tea. I add a little bit of liquid honey to make the milk more palatable. Not all of us can do dairy, though. If you can, the milk contains the animo acid tryptophan, which helps us to get in to that first stage of sleep. Milk also contains calcium, which is needed for tryptophan to help create serotonin. The honey raises insulin levels, so that the tryptophan can affect our brain more easily and help us with those next stages of sleep. Sleep tight. I will follow up with some bedtime snacks another night.