It often happens that we have trouble sleeping. And good sleep, we know, is important for our overall physical and mental health. You probably have your own methods for dealing with the problem, but let me introduce you to another option.
Did you know that dinner can be used to influence sleep? According to Japanese researchers, this is quite possible. They concluded that foods with a high glycemic index, which is a measure of the effect of foods on blood sugar, improve sleep. Exceptions are pasta and pastries, although they have large quantities.
Rice promotes good sleep, say Japanese experts. The Japanese, according to studies, eat about 10 times more rice than Europeans and North Americans. Rice makes up approximately 28% of the diet of the inhabitants of the Land of the Rising Sun.
Japanese researchers conducted a study involving 1, 164 men and 684 women to examine the effects of rice on sleep. The researchers took into account the quality of sleep, the time it takes a person to fall asleep after turning off the lights, the duration of sleep, how long a person rests, how often they wake up, whether they take medication and how they feels during the day.
The study found that people who ate a lot of rice slept better and longer than others. And pasta for dinner had a negative effect on the quality of sleep - people often woke up, felt bad during the day, drank sleeping pills and it was harder for them to fall asleep. However, pastries, including white bread and pizza, also didn't have the effect, that rice had on sleep.
Experts explain that foods with a high glycemic index, such as rice, can affect sleep due to tryptophan, an aromatic alpha-amino acid that has sedative properties and is linked to the sleep hormone melatonin. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin in the brain and then to melatonin.
This study only confirmed similar, earlier studies and researchers have suggested that doctors may soon advise patients with sleeping disorders not to take pills but to eat more rice for dinner. And you should try as well - you may find that it works for you!