This Morning: Phillip Schofield opens up about insomniac fears

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One in three Britons struggle to drift off at night. There are many obstacles that stand in the way of sleep but a busy brain is one of the most common. Simple fixes may seem fanciful but evidence suggests they do exist.

In fact, Kiwis have been shown to speed up the sleep process.

Kiwis are a very nutritious fruit that’s touted for its sleep-inducing properties.

In a study entitled “Effect of kiwifruit consumption on sleep quality in adults with sleep problems”, researchers evaluated the effects of kiwifruit on sleep patterns, including sleep onset, duration, and quality.

Twenty-four subjects (two males, 22 females) 20 to 55 years of age consumed two kiwifruits one hour before bedtime nightly for four weeks.

The Chinese version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (CPSQI) – a self-rated questionnaire for assessing sleep markers, a three-day sleep diary, and a watch logging sleep time were used to assess the subjective and objective parameters of sleep quality.

What did the researchers find out?

By the end of the study, participants were falling asleep 42 percent faster compared to when they didn’t eat anything before bedtime.

What’s more, total sleep time and sleep efficiency were significantly increased after kiwi consumption, the researchers found.

“Kiwifruit consumption may improve sleep onset, duration, and efficiency in adults with self-reported sleep disturbances,” they concluded.

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“Further investigation of the sleep-promoting properties of kiwifruit may be warranted.”

According to Holland and Barrett, the sleep-inducing effect is usually attributed to kiwis’ serotonin-supporting nutrients.

Other sleep-inducing foods

Eating and drinking dairy products such as milk is generally considered to have a positive effect on physical and mental health, as well as promoting food sleep quality, notes the health body.

“This is thought to be because milk and dairy products are a great source of melatonin – containing a high amount of tryptophan.”

In fact, a systematic review of past studies between 1972 and 2019 observed that a well-balanced diet including milk and dairy products is “considered to be effective for improving sleep quality”.

However, it also stated that there was a correlation between people who met daily calcium recommendations and a generally healthy diet, so that could be a factor.

Other simple fixes

If you have difficulty falling asleep, a regular bedtime routine will help you wind down and prepare for bed.

The NHS explains: “This programmes the brain and internal body clock to get used to a set routine.”

According to the health body, most adults need between six and nine hours of sleep every night.

“By working out what time you need to wake up, you can set a regular bedtime schedule.”

It is also important to try and wake up at the same time every day.

The NHS explains: “While it may seem like a good idea to try to catch up on sleep after a bad night, doing so on a regular basis can also disrupt your sleep routine.”

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