Medical Perspectives | Others

February 25, 2020



Filipinos only get to sleep 6.8 hours per night on the average, according to the 2016 Healthy Living Index survey, even if they desire to sleep more than 8 hours. The 1.4 sleep deficit is cited to be one of the highest in Asia.

 

While there are many tips on how to get the best sleep, we look at what food to eat as well as what to avoid to sleep well.

 

8 to Eat

  • Eggs, contain tryptophan, an amino acid known for its sleep-inducing quality
  • Honey in your tea or milk can help induce sleep, as it lowers the level of orexin, which stimulates alertness
  • Banana contains potassium which contributes to a deep sleep, as well as tryptophan and magnesium, which have sedative effects
  • Milk, which is a natural source of tryptophan, a sleep-inducer
  • Yogurt, a good source of calcium, a mineral known not only for strong bones but also better sleep, as calcium is needed to process melatonin from tryptophan
  • Nuts, especially pistachios, contain melatonin, which promotes sleep
  • Poultry contains tryptophan, so you can nibble on a piece of chicken before bedtime to help you sleep
  • Crackers and cheese are a good carb and protein combination that facilitates tryptophan availability to the brain

 

4 to Avoid

  • Sugar and refined carbs including white rice, white bread and pasta can cause wakefulness at night
  • Spicy or acidic food that can cause heartburn or indigestion
  • Caffeine and nicotine which can stimulate the nervous system, for up to 10-12 hours
  • Alcohol which may disrupt the normal sleep cycle

 

[i] Philamlife. [2016, June]. FILIPINOS SCORE LOW ON THE 2016 HEALTHY LIVING INDEX DUE TO UNHEALTHY HABITS

https://www.philamlife.com/en/about-philamlife/media-centre/press-releases/2016/filipinos-score-low-on-2016-healthy-living-index.html

[ii] McCulloch, M. [2018, June]. The 15 Best Healthy Late-Night Snacks. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nut...

[iii] Foley, M. [2017, January]. 15 Foods to Help You Sleep. Retrieved from https://www.popsugar.com.au/fi...

[iv] Foley, M. [2017, January]. 15 Foods to Help You Sleep. Retrieved from https://www.popsugar.com.au/fi...

[v] Foley, M. [2017, January]. 15 Foods to Help You Sleep. Retrieved from https://www.popsugar.com.au/fi...

[vi] McCulloch, M. [2018, June]. The 15 Best Healthy Late-Night Snacks. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nut...

[vii] McCulloch, M. [2018, June]. The 15 Best Healthy Late-Night Snacks. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nut...

[viii] Foley, M. [2017, January]. 15 Foods to Help You Sleep. Retrieved from https://www.popsugar.com.au/fi...

[ix] McCulloch, M. [2018, June]. The 15 Best Healthy Late-Night Snacks. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nut...

[x] Smith, M., Robinson, L., Segal, R. [2018, October]. How to Sleep Better. Retrieved from https://www.helpguide.org/arti...

 

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