Eat Nutrient Dense Food
Melatonin is made from serotonin, which is made from tryptophan. Seafood, turkey, almonds and organ meats, like liver and kidneys, contain abundant tryptophan. They also tend to be lower in other amino acids that tend to compete with tryptophan while being absorbed in your gut. By eating more of these foods you will absorb more tryptophan, which generates more serotonin, which means you can produce more Melatonin.
Eating more seafood also increases your availability of long-chain omega 3 fatty acids to your diet, especially DHA and EPA. These important nutrients help support your circadian rhythm by improving the tissue health of your brain, lowering inflammation and also increase your resilience to stress. By, including more healthy saturated fats like organic butter, coconut oil, and eggs with soft yolks you are also helping to build your brain as well as supporting better gut and liver health.
No discussion of healthy eating would be complete without saying EAT MORE VEGETABLES! The increase in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and abundant fibre has undeniable benefits for health. Increasing your nutrient density, your ability to clear oxidative stress, and your ability to clear toxins from your gut will definitely improve your brain’s health, help clean out your pineal gland and, of course, improve your sleep.
Some people have a hard time getting to sleep without a sack, especially a high carbohydrate snack like crackers. There is a reason for this, and it is an important reason to understand if you need to eat in order to fall asleep. When you eat crackers (or other carbohydrate foods) the starch turns to glucose which elevates your blood sugar. When your blood sugar goes up your body releases insulin to put the sugar away. Higher insulin makes your brain and pineal gland produce more serotonin which makes you happy and relaxed and, as you have learned, serotonin becomes melatonin. The challenge with this way of getting to sleep is the starch takes a few hours to completely break down and your digestive system isn’t very vigorous when you are asleep. This can set you up for tooth decay (even if you brush your teeth) and potential Candida yeast or other bacterial and fungal infections.
The microorganisms in your gut love starch and if they get out of balance you may find yourself eventually sleeping worse instead of better. As it turns out about 60% of the melatonin produced in your body is actually made by a healthy balance of critters in your gut. If you are a person who likes to have a snack before bed it would be best to eat a SMALL serving of starch with some fat about 2 hours before you go to bed.
Many traditional cultures recommend simmered milk with nutmeg or cloves. This is because milk has some simple carbohydrates and some fat, as well as nutmeg and cloves having compounds that help you relax. If you are avoiding dairy, a good option is coconut milk with nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and a little bit of honey about 40 minutes before bed – especially if you are practicing the other guidelines for sleep hygiene.
Many people around the world use Golden Mylk for Sleep. You can learn more about this amazing homemade medicine HERE.
Some people have a hard time staying asleep because of hypoglycemia, insulin resistance or cortisol resistance.
In that case, it is better to have some protein with some fat about 45 minutes before you go to bed. My favourite late-night, deeper sleep snack is leftover protein around 40 minutes before I go to sleep. The protein is gradually digested into glucose and can help you get to sleep and also sleep the whole night through.