Can eating a banana help you sleep better?

Many people find it hard to have a good night’s sleep because of various factors, such as stress and busyness. And while taking sleeping pills may be a tempting solution to this, these come with unwanted side effects. Fortunately, there are safer and more natural ways to sleep better at night. One of these is eating bananas before bed. How so? The sleep-enhancing powers of the yellow tropical fruit are discussed below:

Bananas help control your sleep patterns: Bananas contain an essential amino acid called tryptophan, which helps the body produce serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that helps regulate the functions of the body. It is deemed as one of the most important chemicals in the brain and plays a role in treating anxiety, insomnia, and other mood problems, such as agitation, aggression, anger, fatigue, and irritability. It also plays a role in regulating body temperature and sleep.

Bananas help soothe the mind: In addition to serotonin, tryptophan also helps produce melatonin, which is responsible for regulating circadian rhythms or the sleep-wake cycle. The hormone works together with serotonin to control sleeping patterns, body temperature, and hormone release. It also helps treat anxiety and improves sleep. In a study published in the Journal of Pineal Research, researchers associated eating bananas with an increase in melatonin levels in the body.

Bananas promote relaxation in the body: Lacking magnesium in your diet can cause night cramps, which can disturb your sleep and keep you awake at night. Bananas help prevent night cramps because they contain magnesium. One banana offers 8 percent of the recommended daily intake of magnesium. The mineral influences some of the processes in the body that promote sleep. Magnesium also regulates neurotransmitters and melatonin, calming the mind and body for better sleep. In addition, it binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. GABA is the neurotransmitter that quiets down nerve activity. Magnesium also improves anxiety and depression and helps a person have a deep and restful sleep.

Bananas relax the muscles: Bananas are also rich in potassium. One banana contains 12 percent of the recommended daily potassium intake. Together with magnesium, potassium helps relax muscles and nerves, regulates blood pressure, and promotes healthy digestion. Because of these effects, both minerals effectively induce sleep. (Related: Banana nutrition facts – nine things you probably never knew about this nutritious tropical food.)

Aside from enhancing sleep, bananas provide other health benefits. These include:

  • Aiding in weight loss
  • Regulating blood sugar levels after meals and reducing appetite
  • Improving digestive health
  • Keeping the heart healthy
  • Reducing the risk of diseases

Why you should get enough sleep

Sleep is a basic need. The body needs sleep so it can function during waking hours. When you don’t get enough sleep, you put your health at risk. Getting enough sleep is important for the following:

  • Replenishing: During sleep, the body repairs damage caused by various factors like stress and replenishes your energy.
  • Warding off diseases: Your immune system becomes weaker when you don’t get enough sleep, making you more susceptible to diseases.
  • Staying alert: Having a good night’s sleep lets your mind regain focus and helps you stay alert.
  • Improving memory: Sleep is also important for learning and memory as it helps form new learning and memory pathways in the brain.
  • Being active: You may feel more energized after having a good night’s sleep. That’s because sleep re-energizes your body and improves your mental awareness. Sleep is also linked to better athletic performance.

Visit to learn more about the health benefits of bananas.

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