Health

Best supplements for sleep – three capsules to help you fall asleep fast

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The body needs enough sleep to help it function properly, and to help you to feel fresh the next day, according to the NHS.

Regular poor sleep increases the risk of some life-threatening conditions, including heart disease and obesity.

What you choose to eat or drink could have an impact on how well you sleep at night, or how quickly you fall asleep.

Adding more tryptophan, vitamin B6 and calcium supplements to your diet may help to boost your sleep cycle, revealed Ryvita and nutritionist Rob Hobson.

Tryptophan

Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps to make melatonin in the brain, said Hobson.

Melatonin is responsible for controlling the sleep-wake cycle – the amount of time you should be awake or asleep.

Tryptophan supplements may help to kickstart your circadian rhythm. Alternatively, try eating more tryptophan-rich foods.

“Foods rich in tryptophan include tofu, and fruits such as bananas,” said Hobson. “Eating carbohydrate foods such as pasta, rice and potatoes can also help with the uptake of tryptophan.”

These carbohydrates encourage the release of insulin, which reduces the concentration of larger amino acids, allowing tryptophan to cross more freely into the brain.

“Try a sleepy bedtime snack of Ryvita Crunchy Rye Breads topped with banana and peanut butter,” he suggested.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 also helps to control the amount of melatonin in the body, said the nutritionist.

The vitamin, which is also known as pyridoxine, also helps the body to make haemoglobin, which carries oxygen around the body.

If you decide to take vitamin B6 supplements, don’t take more than 10mg in a single day, unless advised by a doctor, said the NHS.

All adult men and women need about 1.4mg and 1.2mg of vitamin B6 every day, respectively.

If supplements aren’t for you, try adding more eggs, vegetables or soya beans to your diet.

Calcium

Calcium helps the brain to produce the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, just like tryptophan and vitamin B6.

The nutrient works together with magnesium to relax muscles, and sedate the nerves.

Calcium also helps to keep bones and teeth strong, while regulating muscle contractions.

You should be able to get enough calcium in your daily diet by eating dairy products, tofu, nuts, or green leafy vegetables.

But, don’t take more than 1,500mg of calcium in a single day, if you decide to take supplements.


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