Each type of insomnia derives from a specific and individual mechanism often mediated by neuro-hormonal circuits that may depend on what you eat.

The initial insomnia is typical of the first phase of sleep and is linked to an inability to muscle relaxation, therefore it will be advisable to encourage the consumption of sedative foods such as pasta containing tryptophan, amino acid from which Serotonin and Melatonin are produced, in the evening meal regulators of the sleep-wake rhythm. For the same reason, especially in elderly people, milk consumption may be useful.

The presence in the evening meal of potatoes, apples, bananas, tomatoes, courgettes and green beans will instead supply potassium as an aid to muscle relaxation.

The median insomnia is that characterized by awakenings after 1 or 2 hours from the beginning of sleep with a sense of thirst and dry mouth and is associated with a hepato-biliary difficulty. In this case a moderate stimulation of the liver in the evening meal can be useful with the consumption of vegetables sautéed with extra virgin olive oil, garlic (which also has marked sedative properties) and chilli, providing the vegetation water and the sugars of fresh fruit to help hepatic detoxification work and renal waste drainage.

The slowing of the liver in fact creates toxic catabolites that overcome the blood-brain barrier causing anxiety and irritability which are also worsened by the activation of the thyroid that occurs in an attempt to speed up the elimination of toxins.

An excellent meal could include potatoes seasoned with oil, lemon and parsley, sautéed zucchini and 1 apple or 2 clementines.

Early awakening usually depends on pancreatic and / or adrenal dysfunction (verifiable with blood glucose and cortisolemia values ​​that are within the normal range) therefore it will be necessary for nutritional treatment to avoid foods that stimulate cortical activity in the evening meal adrenal like red meat, aged cheeses, vegetables like aubergines and peppers and hard-boiled eggs, paying attention to the glycemic balance avoiding too sugary foods, but favoring for example a small pasta dish seasoned with extra virgin olive oil and sage or basil , recognized for their sedative effect, with some oily fruit like walnuts and almonds (the pasta with pesto alla genovese will be excellent).A good sedative effect can be vegetables such as lettuce and cauliflower sautéed with extra virgin olive oil and garlic.

Ineffective or non-restorative sleep causes the sensation of failure to rest on awakening and is due to a hepato-biliary difficulty such as median insomnia, but it is also associated with a difficulty in renal function that can occur with a feeling of swelling, asthenia and difficulty concentrating in the morning hours.

It will therefore be treated as median insomnia, but favouring in the evening meal especially the consumption of diuretic foods such as rice and polenta (gluten-free), fennel, Belgian endive and clementines, avoiding those that hinder diuresis for their wealth of mineral salts such as spinach, broccoli, tomatoes and minestrone prepared with more varieties of vegetables.

We must also remember that the lack of sleep promotes weight gain and this is because it reduces the levels of hormones that remove appetite (Leptin), increasing those that stimulate it (Grelina) and causes an increase in the value of cortisol, an adrenal hormone that promotes insulin resistance with increases in blood sugar and accumulation of visceral fat. It will therefore always be appropriate to give importance to the quantities of what you eat and to the right balance of meals in their fat, carbohydrate and protein content.

Author's Bio: 

Shivani Sikri (Chief Nutritionist & Co-Founder, NUTRI4VERVE )

Offers intelligent diet plans for weight loss through Lifestyle Management (work routines, time constraints, eating habits, meal preferences, travel Schedules, genetics & therapeutic / family medical history) made afresh and fulfilling specific demands of clients. She offers Indian Versions of Keto Diets, Paleo diets, and other fat targeting diets so that the fat loss is everlasting and easily attainable by eating only your home cooked food.

Nutri4Verve recommends a 12-week dietary plan for Weight Loss diets, therapeutic diets with emphasis on Diabetes, Thyroid, PCOD/ PCOS, Post Pregnancy and Lipid Imbalances and others.

She has been Awarded – “ Best Dietician in Delhi ” at International Healthcare Summit & Awards and was winner of India’s biggest Healthcare Awards popularly known as Healthcare Oscars of India – “Superstar : Excellence in Diet & Nutrition” at Indian Health Professional Awards