A bad night’s sleep is more than just an annoyance. It can leave you irritable, unfocused, and exhausted the next day, with even bigger risks in the long-term. So what can you do to help your mind and body unwind and drift off to sleep? For many people, the answer lies in superfoods. Antioxidant rich foods like Ashwagandha, Maca and Rhodiola have all been shown to help promote sleep. And now we can add Turmeric to the list. With anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers, this golden superfood could help you get a great night’s sleep.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is an ancient spice that has remained popular in India and Asia since 2,000 BC. Part of the ginger family, the spice’s main chemical component is Curcumin – the secret to many of its health benefits. Curcumin demonstrates powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which make it an incredibly important chemical when it comes to treating health problems like arthritis, acne, high cholesterol, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s.
How Can Turmeric Help You Get a Good Night’s Sleep?
If you regularly find yourself counting sleep, Turmeric might not be the first thing you reach for. But surprisingly, this superfood spice can help prepare your body for sleep in a number of different ways.
Protects against sleep deprivation
Sleep deprivation can have some serious effects on your mental and physical health, so it’s important to naturally combat the symptoms and help your body rediscover its balance. That’s where Turmeric comes in. In a 2008 study, scientists have discovered that curcumin protected 72 hour sleep-deprived mice from the symptoms associated with lack of sleep. The results showed that those mice supplemented with curcumin extract for five days showed significantly less impairment in locomotor activity, oxidative damage and anxiety.
Improves Overall Mood
Ever noticed how your mind starts racing as soon as you get into bed? Anxiety and depression are one of the most prominent causes of insomnia, preventing the body from winding down and resting. If a low mood is preventing you from sleeping, Turmeric could be useful. A recent study by researchers from the Longevity Center at the University of California looked at the effect of curcumin on the memory and moods of 40 adults age between 51 and 84. The results showed that the participants given the curcumin compound reported improvement in their mood after 18 months.
Many cases of insomnia are caused by chronic stress. If you struggle to ‘wind down’ at night or are struggling to deal with the stresses and strains of your work and home life, this may well be the cause. While it’s important to develop strategies for dealing with this stress, superfoods like Turmeric could also play a role in promoting better sleep. One study examined the effects of curcumin administration to laboratory rats after exposure to a chronic stress protocol. The study found that curcumin supplementation had a beneficial effect on reducing stress-related depressive symptoms. If your insomnia is caused by stress, this suggests that Turmeric could well help.
Taking Turmeric for Better Sleep
Turmeric is delicious in all kinds of sweet and savory dishes, making it easy to incorporate into your daily life. But when it comes to promoting better sleep, you can’t beat a Turmeric Golden Milk Latte. Sweet and warming, this healthy drink will help you feel relaxed, while the milk and black pepper promotes curcumin absorption.
Turmeric Golden Milk
2 cups of almond milk
1 tablespoon of local honey (optional)
1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 small pinch of black pepper and ginger powder
Simply pour all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a light boil. Whisk to combine ingredients. Reduce heat to low and simmer for up to 10 minutes. Strain into a mug and enjoy warm.
Packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, it’s little surprise that Turmeric can help treat some of the problems associated with poor sleep. So the next time you find yourself counting sheep, try reaching for this superfood spice.