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The unusual blooms look beautiful in your garden, but Passion Flower has uses that go far beyond looking pretty. The dried flowers, leaves and stems increase levels of GABA in the brain, leading to a relaxed, calm mood, and reducing insomnia and anxiety.
You might know hops best as the flavouring ingredients in beer, but the dried flowers have also been used for centuries to calm the mind and promote sleep. The active ingredient in hops is believed to be methylbutenol, a mild sedative.
One of the most well-known herbs for promoting sleep and reducing stress is lavender. Lavender reduces blood pressure, calms the mind, and encourage deep levels of restful sleep.
Since the beginning of humankind, almost every civilisation – including the Chinese, Indians, Greeks and Romans have used valerian as a sedative. It’s an incredibly powerful herb (in the medieval times, valerian root sometimes was called “All Heal”), and it may be used to treat anxiety, reduce nerves, relieve muscle spasms and more.
Food and Diet facts
What you eat and what you don't can have an effect on your ability to get to sleep and stay asleep.
Limit Your Intake Of Caffeine, Alcohol, and Nicotine: Caffeine and nicotine can have a pronounced effect on sleep, causing insomnia and restlessness. In addition to coffee, tea, and soft drinks, look for hidden sources of caffeine such as chocolate, cough and cold medicine, and other over-the-counter medicine. Alcohol consumption can result in nighttime wakefulness.
Cut Back on Sugar: Although sugar can give a burst of energy, it's short-lived and can cause uneven blood sugar levels. This can disrupt sleep in the middle of the night as blood sugar levels fall.
Eat Foods That Help You Sleep: Tryptophan is a naturally-occurring amino acid that is a precursor to serotonin, which is then converted to melatonin. Eat carbohydrate snacks such as whole grain crackers before bedtime. Also include foods rich in vitamin B6, found in wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and bananas, which enhances the body's conversion of tryptophan. Note that L-tryptophan supplements are not recommended as they have been linked to eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome.
Eat Magnesium-Rich Foods: The mineral magnesium is a natural sedative. Deficiency of magnesium can result in difficulty sleeping, constipation, muscle tremors or cramps, anxiety, irritability, and pain. Foods rich in magnesium are legumes and seeds, dark leafy green vegetables, wheat bran, almonds, cashews, blackstrap molasses, brewer's yeast, and whole grains. In addition to including these whole foods in your diet, you can also try juicing dark leafy green vegetables.