We’ve all experienced that sudden urge to take a nap right after a meal. It turns out that not only our love for sleep or a hard day at work can trigger sleepiness: it’s also the type of food we consume every day.
Among all the other dairy products, hard cheeses have the most relaxing effect as they contain a large amount of calcium. Adding crackers to the cheese will produce a stronger sleep-inducing effect as carbohydrates intensify the function of tryptophan.
Almonds are rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that produces melatonin which is often known as the “sleep hormone.” In addition, these nuts are packed with magnesium which eases muscle tension and makes you feel drowsy.
The sugar, potassium, and magnesium found in bananas make tryptophan enter your brain easily and cause sleepiness.
Walnuts contain less tryptophan than almonds, yet they have their own source of melatonin. Research showed that walnuts increase the level of this hormone in the blood and make you feel quite sleepy.
Cherries, particularly tart cherries, have a relatively high melatonin content. However, eating a handful of fresh cherries won’t make a difference. Drinking a glass of cherry juice will put you to sleep in no time.
Chamomile is packed with glycine, an amino acid that has a mild sedative effect which relaxes muscles and the nervous system. After a cup of chamomile tea, you can barely keep your eyes open and focus on important issues.
In addition to tryptophan, pumpkin seeds contain hefty amounts of zinc and magnesium. These compounds make you calm and relaxed, and you can hardly resist the temptation to doze off for a few minutes.
White rice has a high glycemic index which can cause drowsiness 3 to 4 hours after you’ve finished your meal. Researchers have found that jasmine rice, in particular, brings on sleep faster than other rice types.
The acids contained in salmon, tuna, and other oily fish increase the production of melatonin. These acids reduce the level of stress hormones in the blood, and the only thing you want to do after eating is to curl up and sleep.