Chocolate Can Help Me Sleep? SWEET!!!

Blogger:  Deb Chapman
Some of my close friends can attest to the fact that I have recently embarked on a quest to eat more healthfully.  I’ve given up red meat…(although I can’t deny that sometimes the smell of cooked burgers wafting out the door when I pass a Five Guys makes  my mouth water.)  I’ve been eating lots of dark, leafy green veggies and I even went out and bought a Nutribullet to make  “life-boosting nutrient extraction recipes”.   I’ve taken these steps as I hope to live a longer, healthier life.

I’ve also been working hard on getting better sleep, since we all know the importance sleep plays in overall health.  However, I haven’t given much thought to the connection between food and sleep.  A recent study outlines a number of nutrients in a variety of foods that will help you  get your  shut eye.

For example:

Lycopene: An antioxident found in tomatoes (now growing in my garden!), watermelon, and pink grapefruit

Selenium:  An anti-inflammatory found in tuna or Brazil nuts

Lauric Acid:  Most commonly found in coconut oil

And, my personal favorite:

Theobromine – a phytochemical  found in tea and yes…..in CHOCOLATE!!!  We’ve hit the mother lode!

I’ve always been partial to chocolate of ANY kind and now I have just another reason to indulge.  Theobromine is a  mood-boosting compound found in chocolate which helps relieve stress and anxiety, which very often prevents quality sleep. An ounce of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate also contains serotonin, which relaxes your body and mind.  Read more about that and the many other health benfits of chocolate.  Make sure to choose dark chocolate (not milk chocolate), and eat only a small 1-ounce square with at least 70 percent cacao (or cocoa, which is cacao in its roasted, ground form).  Chocolate does have some caffeine but experts say one ounce is generally not enough to affect your sleep.

So, the next time you find a chocolate on your pillow in that fancy hotel go ahead and give it a try ……it may help you sleep!

Sweet dreams!

Deb Chapman

Comments

  1. I ate some of my kid’s dark chocolate (with berries) last night…couldn’t believe it made me so sleepy…don’t know it is because of the dark chocolate or the berries??

    • Actually, it’s a combination of both. Cherries are high in Melatonin–which controls your sleep and wake cycles. An extra does before bed can send signals to your body telling it that it’s time to rest. Dark chocolate contains serotonin–which helps the body to relax.

      Milk chocolate actually does the opposite and keeps you awake.

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