Jan 14, 2008

Foods that help you stay alert or help you sleep

An important part of shiftworker lifestyle training is fatigue countermeasures and understanding how to manipulate your alertness -- both to maintain safe performance when you need it and to be able to get to sleep when you can.

When it comes to using substances to control alertness, we tend to think right away of caffeine, and perhaps some controlled substances, to maintain alertness and sleeping pills or melatonin to induce sleep. But there are many foods which also have alertness-increasing 0r -decreasing effects that you should be aware of.

Foods the reduce alertness
These foods have tryptophan or l-tryptophan and will help induce sleep.
  • Bananas & Pineapple
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Ice Cream
  • Lobster
  • Meat (Beef)
  • Milk
  • Potatoes
  • Turkey
  • Valerian Tea

Foods that increase alertness
These foods contain tyrosine and/or caffeine and have stimulating effects.
  • Avocados
  • Beef (Aged)
  • Cheese (Aged)
  • Chicken & Fish
  • Chocolate
  • Coca Cola & Coffee
  • Figs (Canned)
  • Garlic
  • Ginger Ale
  • Horseradish
  • Persimmon
  • Pickled Herring
  • Sour Cream
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sprouts
  • Yogurt

Other recent National Shiftwork Information Center posts on shiftworker lifestyle training include:

Have a good day, or night!


Source: The U.S. Navy (clicking on this link will oepn a PDF file on your computer)

No comments: