Seafood & Sleep: Best Fish for a Good Night’s Rest
Do you have a hard time getting a good eight hours of sleep a night? If you do, you aren’t alone. You may be surprised to learn that eating more seafood can help you sleep better.
More than 100 million Americans of every age are sleep deprived. At this time of year, when the days are long and our calendars are packed with events, it can be even harder to get enough shuteye to feel fully energized.
Your diet can have a surprising effect on your sleep habits. There are five vitamins and minerals that play a significant role in your sleep: tryptophan, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium and vitamin D. Each one of these nutrients plays a role in helping your body to regulate your sleep/wake pattern or circadian rhythm.
When you eat foods that have the amino acid tryptophan in them, your body turns it into the neurotransmitter serotonin. You may know that serotonin is a mood-boosting hormone. It also promotes deep, restorative sleep.
Tryptophan also gets converted into the hormone melatonin which directly regulates sleep. Around bedtime, you rely on your body to produce melatonin to make you feel drowsy. In the morning, when you wake up, your body should produce less melatonin so that you can wake up feeling alert.
Similar to tryptophan, your body converts the vitamin B6 into serotonin and melatonin. Studies have linked B6 deficiency to symptoms of depression, mood disorders and insomnia. The root cause of these symptoms is usually low levels of serotonin and melatonin production.
Eating foods with magnesium before bed helps you get to sleep because this mineral deactivates adrenaline. Adrenaline is a hormone that floods our body with strong emotions from stress and anger to excitement. If you have a hard time falling asleep because your mind keeps racing, magnesium may be exactly what you need to help shut your brain down. It is commonly called the sleep mineral because it acts like a natural relaxant.
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and had trouble getting back to sleep? Not having enough calcium could be the cause. Calcium doesn’t just strengthen your bones. It also helps your body produce melatonin. Studies have shown that eating a diet rich in calcium can help people who suffer from insomnia.
Though Vitamin D isn’t directly related to sleep, if you aren’t getting enough of it, eating a calcium rich diet won’t improve your sleep (or your bones). Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium which makes it an important vitamin for a good night’s rest.
Making sure that you eat more foods with these vitamins and minerals can improve the quality and amount of sleep that you get. Certain types of seafood are excellent sources of these sleep promoting nutrients.
These are the best types of fish to eat to improve your sleep:
• Salmon (Tryptophan, Magnesium, Vitamin B6 & Vitamin D)
• Halibut (Tryptophan, Magnesium, Vitamin B6 & Vitamin D)
• Tuna (Tryptophan, Magnesium, Vitamin B6 & Vitamin D)
• Sardines (Tryptophan, Calcium & Vitamin D)
• Cod (Tryptophan & Vitamin D)
• Mackerel (Magnesium & Vitamin D)
• Shrimp (Tryptophan & Vitamin D)
Stop by our seafood counter at City Fish Market in Wethersfield, Connecticut to pick up fresh fish for your dinner tonight to help you get some shuteye!