Juicing for Insomnia and Jet Lag

Nothing ruins your day like too little sleep. When sleep problems become chronic, the condition is called insomnia.

Insomnia induced by jet lag frequently occurs when you cross several times zones. Symptoms include sleepiness, fatigue, and hunger. You can alleviate jet lag and induce sleep by following the same nutritional advice for insomnia.

Nutritional Causes of Insomnia

Common stimulants associated with poor sleep include caffeine and nicotine. If you're tossing and turning at night, consider restricting your intake of caffeine after lunch and limiting your total daily intake.

Foods high in tyramine, an amino acid that stimulates the brain, should also be avoided if you have trouble sleeping. Produce that contains this amino acid include spinach, eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes.

In addition, consuming too much sugar right before bedtime can create a rise in blood sugar that can stimulate you and keep you awake, so avoid drinking a lot of fruit juice right before bed if you've been having trouble sleeping.

Juicing for a Good Night's Sleep

Fruits and vegetables that are high in calming carbohydrates increase levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin in your brain and often induce sleep. The best choices for nightcap juices include complex carbs found in lentils, split peas, mushrooms, and mulberries. Other nutrients that enhance sleep include:

  • Calcium, especially when contained in food, has a sedative effect on the body. Calcium deficiency causes restlessness and wakefulness. Make juice from calcium-rich fruits and vegetables like kale, parsley, watercress, beet greens, broccoli, romaine lettuce, string beans, oranges, celery, and carrots.

  • Vitamin B1 helps increase your body's utilization of serotonin and may help you sleep. While not widely available in produce, you can find it in sunflower seeds, buckwheat sprouts, and garlic.

  • Vitamin B6 can also help prevent insomnia. Stir a tablespoon or two of nutritional yeast into a glass of juice to promote sleep, or make a veggie juice containing kale and bell peppers. Prune juice is also high in B6 and helps facilitate sleep.

  • Vitamin B12 is another important supplement for treating insomnia. Find it in sunflower seeds.

  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) is good for relieving stress. Wheat germ, walnuts, peanuts, bananas, sunflower seeds, cauliflower, and kale are good sources.

  • A lack of folic acid can also disrupt sleep. Good sources include cruciferous veggies and blackberries.

  • Magnesium deficiency can result in nervousness that prevents sleep. Magnesium-rich foods include kelp, wheat bran, almonds, cashews, garlic, brewer's yeast, cruciferous veggies, and blackberries. In addition, a lack of calcium and magnesium can cause leg cramps during the night, which can keep you tossing and turning.

  • Inositol, a B vitamin, enhances REM sleep. Good sources include citrus fruits, strawberries, and cantaloupe.

  • Chromium helps those with blood sugar problems relax and fall asleep. Brewer's yeast is a good source of chromium.

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