Pumpkin seeds and sleep.
How are the two related?
Pumpkin seeds are nutrient-dense, high in antioxidants, and easy to add to your daily diet.
Commonly known as pepitas, which is Spanish for "small squash seed’, pumpkin seeds may be little, but they are jam-packed with health benefits.
Bone health, diabetes, heart health, liver health, weight loss, digestion, and even sleep, you will find various benefits of pumpkin seeds.
Many people enjoy snacking on them by the handful. Roasted, salted, raw, or toasted, they're all excellent. Toss them in salads, cereals, or morning smoothies.
You know how the stuffing in Thanksgiving sends you to sleep? It's because of the enzyme called tryptophan, and it's abundant in pumpkin seeds.
Tryptophan transforms to serotonin and eventually melatonin, this important amino acid can help with chronic insomnia. Melatonin is a hormone that aids sleep while serotonin is a happy hormone that aids relaxation.
Pumpkin seeds also provide an optimal amount of beneficial fats, magnesium, and zinc. The zinc aids in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, which is then converted to melatonin. Also, magnesium aids in the improvement of sleep quality and sleep duration in people with low magnesium levels.
All in all, pumpkin seeds help you get a good night's sleep.
If you have noticed yourself constantly tossing and turning while trying to sleep, eat pumpkin seeds before bedtime.
What does science say?
Studies have been conducted to delve more into the effects of tryptophan on sleep disorders. Tryptophan doses as low as 1 g have been reported to improve sleep latency, and doses as low as 250 mg have been shown to improve Stage IV sleep. Tryptophan treatment has the advantage of neither limiting cognitive performance nor inhibiting arousal from sleep, unlike many other drugs used to treat sleep problems.
Thus, natural sources of tryptophan such as pumpkin seeds are bound to help you sleep better. Because tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, which is actually a neurotransmitter, studies have also shown that it improves mood and mental well-being. Since it increases sleep, it also helps to alleviate anxiety.
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