Sleeping patterns 'can be aided by diet choices'

People suffering with sleep disorders can make changes to their diet to help them more effectively regulate the body's metabolism, according to one expert.

Any food or drink which alters the circadian rhythm – the changing levels of hormones, neurotransmitters and chemical messengers in someone's physiology – can affect their sleep patterns, states Helena Oades, nutritionist and director of

The level of cortisol – a hormone which is associated with stress – in the blood is often affected by diet, she said.

"It can … be influenced by sugar and stimulants, such as tea, coffee and other caffeinated drinks, cigarettes and alcohol," Ms Oades explained.

Individuals worried about losing sleep can also drink Chamomile tea before they go to bed as the beverage has less caffeine than normal tea and has a soothing effect.

The mental health charity Mind advises people to adopt a relaxation routine at night and if they fail to get to sleep on some occasions they should get out of bed and restart the process again. 

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Sleeping patterns 'can be aided by diet choices'
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