16 May, 2017

Do Bananas Help You Get to Sleep?

Could bananas really be as effective at night as a mug of chamomile tea, a dab of lavender on the temples, or an Enya CD playing softly in the background, as a way of helping us fall asleep? Well, scientific evidence suggests that this might just be the case!

Banana photo 2 compressed

We don’t want to present this as the conclusive answer to all forms of insomnia, but below we have cited the evidence behind why it can be such a helpful fruit to consume. We certainly think eating something natural and readily available is one of the wisest first steps in trying to better your sleep. 

How can bananas help me sleep?

Experts often tell us that if we want a good night’s sleep, we should consume foods containing magnesium, potassium, tryptophan and Vitamin B6. Guess what? Bananas contain all of these in one neat little package! 

Let’s have a look at some of the ways that these substances can help ease us off to sleep:

Magnesium helps promote sleep by working as a natural muscle relaxant. It induces the same state of relaxation that you feel right before you fall asleep by assisting the function of GABA, a inhibitory neurotransmitter that causes the brain to shut down at night so we can sleep.  
 
Potassium works in synergy with magnesium and has been shown to be useful for people who have trouble staying asleep at night. Potassium can also be used to help lessen the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome.

Tryptophan is a powerful essential amino acid, and studies have found that its natural sedative effects can help you fall asleep easier and stay asleep for longer. 

Vitamin B6 is needed to make melatonin, which is a sleep-inducing hormone that helps control your sleep and wake cycles. Bananas are rich in this helpful vitamin.

Bananas also contain carbohydrates, which are known to promote sleep, and yet they are a guilt-free snack—a medium-sized banana only contains about 100 calories!

How can eating bananas improve wellbeing?

Few of us pay much attention to how much quality sleep we get, yet getting enough of the right kind of sleep is as essential as eating, drinking and breathing. We need sleep so that our bodies can repair themselves and our brains can make decisions and process information.

Not getting enough sleep can have wide-ranging implications, including a decline in motor coordination, reduced memory function and concentration, lowered sex drive and an increased risk of depression and weight gain. It also increases our risk of serious illnesses such as diabetes and cancer.

So, anything we can do to help naturally improve sleep quality is important and worth considering. As bananas are so readily available and contain so many good sleep-enhancing properties, they are an excellent choice for a bedtime snack.

A lovely way to have your evening banana is to put it in a smoothie, along with other sleep-inducing goodies like milk, turmeric and honey. We love this recipe from the BBC Good Food website. Not only is it wholesome and calming, it’s also delicious!

COCONUT AND BANANA SMOOTHIE

What you’ll need:

  • 100g coconut yogurt
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 3cm piece of fresh garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp baobab powder (optional)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp oats
  • juice of ½ a lemon

To make, pop the coconut yoghurt and milk into a high-speed blender and then add the turmeric, fresh ginger and baobab powder (if using). Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Yum!

What else can I do to promote wellbeing?

If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ― Amit Ray, Meditation Guru

If you’re looking for even greater relaxation and a boost to your wellbeing, our calming, holistic full-body La Sultane De Saba Ayurvedic Shirodhara massage is the answer to all your wishes.

This soothing massage utilises a smorgasbord of spices and oils to stimulate your senses, calm your mind and leave you in a state of absolute bliss and relaxation.

And if you want something to help you relax at home or on the go, our Conscious Water / Sweet Dreams Elixir is a 100% natural flower essence water enhancer that you add to your water when you want to feel calm or ready for sleep.

The flower essences used include Narcissus to dispel worry and overthinking and Grape Hyacinth to promote calm and the ability to relax.

 

 

 

@2016 Spa Experience. Spa Experience is a registered trading name of GLL (Trading) Limited, Company Registration Number 04234158 which is a subsidiary of GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited), a charitable social enterprise and registered society under the Co-operative & Community Benefit & Societies Act 2014. Registered address: Middlegate House, The Royal Arsenal, London SE18 6SX

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