Researchers now agree with each other that we need between seven to nine hours of sleep that goes largely uninterrupted. Obviously not sleeping in the longer term may carry health risks.
Research has also shown that without sleeping well, we are four times as likely to feel depressed, twice as likely to become addicted and twice as likely to feel anxious. We may also be at risk of a heart attack or even a stroke.
A lack of sleep has also been linked to diabetes and obesity. There are things we can do to help get sleep back. It comes in the shape of tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid found in dietary protein and other foods, including oats, bananas, yogurt, cow’s milk, cottage cheese, eggs, chickpeas, and peanuts.
Tryprophan helps us balance our mood and sleep patterns. It is then converted into serotonin and serotonin is then converted into melatonin and melatonin helps with sleep. There are also several vitamins and minerals known to help with sleep.
Magnesium and calcium are considered good for helping the body to relax and calm us down, as well as act as a good muscle relaxant, which is why people with Cerebral Palsy may benefit. Magnesium is found in foods such as green vegetables, seafood, nuts and seeds, whilst calcium is found in green vegetables, dairy produce and molasses.
Balancing blood sugar levels, which means cutting out refined carbohydrates and sugar from our diet is also important in helping us sleep.