Foods That Aid Sleep

Foods and Drinks You Can Try For Better Sleep

If you have sleep deprivation, you can get help from some foods and drinks. Here are 6 of the nutritions that help fall asleep:

1. Popcorn

The carbonhydrates in the fat-free popcorn supply the aminoacid called tyrptophan to the brain. Tyrptophan is used for the production of the neurotransmitter called serotonin in the brain. Popcorn may help you feel sleepy. 

Attention: There are findings which show that popcorn cooked in the microwave owen is dangerous for health. It is advised that popcorn is cooked on fire without using fats and salt.

2. Halibut Fish

Halibut is a Norwegian fish which contains both tyrptophan and vitamin B6, therefore it aids sleep. Some of the other foods are rich in tyrptophan are: red meat, soy beans, milk, cheese, yoghurt, nuts and eggs.

3. Dried Tart Cherries

Tart cherries (sour cherries), whose homeland is Turkey, contain carbonhydrates which boost production of serotonin. Dired tart cherries are also one of the few foods which contain melatonin which promotes better sleep and lessens the negative effects of jet-lag. 

Tart cherries, and especially the dried ones, contain antioxidants which slow aging. 

4. Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)

Garbanzo beans are rich in their vitamin B6 content, which is necessary for the production of serotonin. 

They can be added to salads, soups and many meals.

5. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea is a drink which does not contain caffein and has relaxing effects. It can be a good aid for falling asleep. 

6. Honey
Orexin is a recently discovered neurotransmitter which has been linked to wakefulness. A rise in blood sugar levels can reduce orexin production in the brain. Therefore, eating honey can help sleep better. 

"Foods That Help You Sleep", Matthew Kadey, MS, RD,
"Five foods a naturopath would never eat", Dr. Natasha Turner,

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Things to Consider When Buying a Mattress: Firmness

Türkçe Versiyon

Choose the Proper Firmness for Your Mattress

Photo: Bed Buyer's Guide - The Sleep Council
In the figure at right, you can see the effect of mattress firmness on human body. In the first option, the human spine is too misaligned on the too soft mattress, since the body is sunk inside the mattress. In the second option, the person lies on a too firm mattress, the body is not relaxed, the spine is too straight (linear), the pressure is concentrated only on certain parts of the body and causes feeling of discomfort. Both options are not healthy enough.

In the third option, the person lies on a medium firm mattress, the spine is not too straight or too much curvy. The mattress supports the body and distributes the pressure applied on the body, the pressure is not concentrated only on certain points therefore it does not cause discomfort. The healthier option is the 3. option.

When purchasing a mattress, prefer a medium firm mattress instead of a too soft or too firm mattress. If possible, lie on the mattress for a certain amount of time and make sure that the level of firmness is suitable for you.  If the body weight increases, the need for firmness will also increase, therefore weighty people can choose a more firm mattress. (provided that the mattress is not more firm (rigid, tough or solid) than necessary).

Cited from the "Mattress Buying Guide" prepared by Narda R&D Team. All rights reserved.

Hypnotics: Sleeping Pills

Türkçe Versiyon: Hipnotikler: Uyku Hapları

Hypnotic (soporific) drugs are a class of psychoactives which have the primary function to induce sleep and which are used in the treatment of insomnia, and in surgical anesthesia. When they are used in anesthesia to produce and maintain unconsciousness, "sleep" is metaphorical as there are no regular sleep stages or cyclical natural states. Patients rarely recover from anesthesia feeling refreshed and with renewed energy. Since drugs in this class generally produce dose-dependent effects, ranging from anxiolysis to production of unconsciousness, they are often referred to collectively as sedative-hypnotics.

Hypnotic drugs are regularly prescribed for insomnia and other sleep disorders. Over 95% of insomnia patients are prescribed hypnotics in some countries. Many hypnotic drugs are habit-forming. They cause a large number of factors known to disturb the human sleep pattern. A physician may recommend alternative sleeping patterns, sleep hygiene, and exercise for a healthy sleep pattern before prescribing medication for sleep. Hypnotic medication should be prescribed only when it is absolutely necessary and should be used for the shortest period of time possible.

Sleeping Pills Only Offer Short-Term Relief

Non-drug treatments are usually under-used, but sleep experts say that these treatments offer the best long-term solutions to chronic insomnia. Professor Kevin Morgan of Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre says that sleeping tablets treat the symptoms of insomnia, but not its causes. 

This means that when you take sleep pills for a period of time, you can sleep but when you stop taking them you will have to face anyway with the reasons causing your sleep deprivation. 

Dr. Morgan has been researching psychological treatments for insomnia, focusing on behavioural change and self-help to promote better sleeping patterns.

Sleep Diary

It was assumed that if people had insomnia alongside a more serious condition, then curing that illness would cure the insomnia. Nowadays insomnia is generally treated as a separate illness.

Before a diagnosis, you may be asked to keep a sleep diary, in order to record bedtimes, wake times, hours and quality of sleep of sleep each morning. “Sleep diaries provide an invaluable insight into the patient’s sleeping habits. They're a useful way of monitoring the outcome of treatment” says Professor Morgan.

If a person is diagnosed with insomnia, the main treatments are:

1. Providing Sleep Hygiene

Lifestyle, particularly your sleeping habits, have a big impact on the quality of your sleep. Analyzing the person’s “sleep hygiene” should be the first step in any treatment of insomnia.

Sleep hygiene is a list of lifestyle preferences in order to make possible high quality and regular sleep.  Providing sleep hygiene has proved to be effective in stopping insomnia from getting worse, and making it easier to benefit from further treatment.

Professor Kevin Morgan makes the following explanations about sleep hygiene:

“It's a useful first step in treatment, and sends the important message that behaviour and lifestyle choices that can influence sleep quality. If you have a sleep problem, it’s worth looking at your personal habits. It could be that your sleep is being ruined by your regular expresso before bed. Sleep is fragile, you’ve got to look after it.”

Drinking too many caffeine-based drinks (like coffee, tea and energy drinks) or exercising too close to bedtime will affect your sleep. 

Exercise is normally critical for sleep hygiene, it eases falling asleep, and improves sleep quality by increasing the amount of time spent in deep sleep during the night. But exercise too close to bedtime has a negative effect on sleep.

2. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Once sleep hygiene has been addressed, and there is no improvement in your insomnia, CBT is the next step. It's a package of treatments that usually includes sleep restriction, stimulus control, cognitive therapy and relaxation techniques.

a. Sleep restriction: Some people with insomnia may benefit from a sleep restriction programme that allows only a few hours of sleep during the night at first. Gradually, the time is increased until you achieve a more regular night's sleep.

b. Stimulus Control: This therapy rebuilds the association between the bedroom and sleep by limiting the amount of time that you spend awake in bed. “The environment can stimulate behaviour,” says Professor Morgan.

c. Cognitive Therapy: Thought-blocking therapies are used to reduce the anxiety about not falling asleep. Professor Morgan says: “Cognitive therapy can help to break this vicious circle by teaching you a different way of worrying. Do your worrying at a different time, write down your fears, and discipline yourself not to worry about things around bedtime.”

d. Relaxation Therapy: There are specific effective techniques that can reduce or eliminate anxiety and body tension. As a result, the person's mind stops racing, the muscles relax, and restful sleep can follow.

3. Sleeping Tablets

Hypnotic drug therapy is advised only after considering non-drug therapies, such as those outlined above.

Benzodiazepines (such as Temazepam or Loprazolam) and the newer 'Z medicines' (such as Zopiclone or Zolpidem) are the preferred drugs for insomnia. Both types of drugs work in a similar way. If one doesn’t work, swapping to the other is unlikely to have a different effect.

“These drugs are very effective sleep inducers,” says Professor Morgan. But they're only recommended for the short-term treatment of insomnia – up to four weeks.

Dr. Morgan explains: “Very few insomnia cases last only four weeks. Most clinical insomnias are chronic. So most of these drugs are prescribed for longer than they should.”

So, this means that if you have chronic insomnia, you should seek lifestyle changes and provide sleep hygiene in your life, rather than opting directly for sleep drugs. In any case, sleep drugs lose their effectiveness over time because the body gets used to them. By that stage, the person becomes psychologically dependent on them.

What You Don't Know About Your Sleeping Pills

Insomnia is one of the most common medical complaints: 69% of primary care patients complain of sleep issues, according to a survey. Most patients are unable to fall asleep for more than 30 minutes after going to bed on most nights, many of them also have trouble staying asleep throughout the night.

There are many causes for insomnia, these include depression, extreme stress, poor sleep hygiene, or certain types of medication. In addition to problems falling asleep, insomniacs tend to have problems with low energy and lack of attention during the day.

Even though sleeping pills can induce drowsiness and may help you fall asleep, many drugs don’t actually promote deep sleep or REM sleep. REM sleep is one of five stages of the sleep cycle, and is called "restful sleep" by many experts. You dream during REM sleep and a reduction in REM sleep causes a less restorative or less satisfying sleep. This is why people may not feel completely rested after taking a sleeping pill, even after 8 hours of sleep.

When Are Sleeping Pills Appropriate?

It is okay to take prescription sleeping pills for a short time when a tragic event, extreme stress, travel, or other factors or circumstances are affecting your normal sleep patterns. A popular sleeping pill uses zolpidem as its active ingredient.

Most doctors prescribe sleeping pills or hypnotics as a solution to sleep problems. However, many people end up using these pills for months or years at a time without realizing that these medications were only designed for short-term use.

Experts recommend not taking prescription sleep medications for more than 2 to 3 months, since these medications should not be taken as a “cure” for long-term insomnia.

Are Sleeping Pills Dangerous?

In 2013, the FDA reduced the recommended dosage for medications containing zolpidem for women because many women wake up in the morning with active levels of the drug in the blood stream. This situation can cause morning drowsiness and impair activities that require alertness like driving.

Many studies have also found connections between regularly taking sleep aids and an increase in risk of death and cancer. Compared with non-users of sleeping pills, a study showed that people who take 1 to 18 pills of any sleep aid or hypnotic medication per year have more than 3 times increased risk of early death. It also showed that heavy hypnotic users were 35% more likely to develop a new cancer. There are no clear explanations for this connection. Some studies have connected increased risks of suicide and risky behavior like impaired driving, with the use of prescribed sleep drugs. Zolpidem can also increase stomach regurgitation and increase your risk of esophageal cancer.

So What Are The Alternatives?

If you have persistent sleep problems, you should talk with your doctor first. The doctor will need to discover any medical or psychiatric problems that may be causing your sleep issues.

The Doctor Oz Show, 
NHS Choices,

Why is Air Circulation Important For Mattresses?

Türkçe Versiyon

Air circulation is very important for a mattress. The mattress design should allow the air transfer to be realized effieciently between the interior of the mattress and the environment that the mattress is present (bedroom). There are two main reasons for this necessity: Thermal comfort and hygiene. 

1. Thermal Comfort

thermal comfort and mattresses
In thermodynamics science, thermal comfort is expressed as "human comfort". The term expresses the thermodynamic comfort feeling for a human depending on the environment conditions. 

What does human comfort mean and what is it related to?

The human body converts the energy it takes from food to heat energy. The excess of this heat energy must be dissipated to the environment in which the body is present such as the bedroom or outdoors. Thus, the body must reach thermal equilibrium and the body temperature must be kept at 37°C. The human body feels comfortable when it is able to dissipate the excess heat energy, the term "human comfort" refers to this. Human comfort is related to three main factors: 

  • Ambient Temperature: Most people feel comfortable when the ambient temperature is between 22°C and 27°C.
  • Relative Humidity: Most people feel comfortable when the relative humidity of the environment is between %40 and %60.
  • Air Speed: If the air in our enviroment is not moving, our body can not dissipate its excess heat and we feel uncomfortable. If the air moves too fast, we again feel uncomfortable. Most people feel comfortable when the air speed is 15m/min. 

sweating during sleep
In a hot environment, our body can not dissipate its excess heat efficiently and we start to feel uncomfortable. Our body reacts to this situation using uncontrolled mechanisms. The human body reduces its activity in order to minimize the rate of its energy generation, it uses uncontrolled mechanisms such as increasing blood circulation (through vasodilatation) in order to activate heat rejection or sweating in order to dissipate heat as latent heat. 

About half of the rejected body heat is dissipated through perspiration as latent heat while the other half is dissipated through convection and radiation as sensible heat. But in a very humid environment, perspiration does not makes us comfortable enough. Since the humidity in the ambient air is high, the sweat that is accumulated on our skin can not evaporate and therefore the heat transfer can not take place on an efficient level. 

air circulation for a mattress
The speed of air is very important, because when the air in the ambience moves fast enough it encounters our skin and it removes the warm, moist air that builds up around the body and replaces it with fresh air. The speed of air must be fast enough to accomplish this, but it must not be too fast to make us feel uncomfortable. 

The mattress that we sleep on is a closed box, a mass in the form of a rectangular prism. If the mattress is not designed properly and if the mattress is not manufactured with the proper materials in order to realize the circulation of air between the interior of the mattress and the bedroom, the excess heat dissipated from our body accumulates inside the mattress during the night. 

When the temperature and humidity of the mattress increases, our body becomes unable to dissipate its excess heat and moisture. The human body shows an uncontrolled reaction to this by increasing the blood circulation and perspiration. We feel uncomfortable and we start to sweat. Since the thermal equilibrium of our body is spoiled we have difficulty in falling asleep. If this situation takes place after we fall asleep, we wake up frequently and our sleep is interrupted. This is the reason why we have sleep deprivation due to perspiration in hot summer nights. The quality of our sleep reduces, the duration of our deep sleep during the night shortens. Our body and our brain can not repair and refresh itself, we feel tired and exhausted when we wake up, our work efficieny and physical performance reduces during the day. 

2. Hygiene

bed bugs, mattress hygiene
If the design of a mattress and the materials used in the mattress production do not allow an efficient air circulation, the interior temperature and humidity of the mattress increases due to the above mentioned reasons. When the temperature and humidity increases, a suitable environment becomes present for mites and bacteria to grow fast inside the mattress. After only a few months of use, the number of mites inside the mattress reaches millions. These mites feed from the human skin particles which fall out from our body and penetrate into the mattress. An average human body loses 2 grams of skin per day. Mites eat these skin particles and start to excrete. These excreta are the food for the bacteria which live inside the mattress. The number of bacteria which feed from these excreta reaches millions in a short period of time. The mattress is "mildewed", it starts stinking and makes its user uncomfortable. What is worse, these microorganisms can be a source of allergy for humans. For some people, they can cause irritating allergies. 

Due to the two main reasons mentioned above (thermal comfort and hygiene), a mattress should be manufactured so that it allows a strong air circulation between its own interior and its ambience (bedroom). In the mattress production, materials which allow air transfer should be utilized. 

This subject is very important for sleep health and for general health of a person. Efficient air circulation is one of the essential conditions necessary for preventing perspiration during sleep and providing an uninterrupted sleep. Narda Mattress manufactures mattresses and sleep products with patented designs utilizing three dimensional (3D) spacer fabrics for providinhg efficient air circulation. 

3D fabrics have superior air and fluid permeability which is unparalleled by any other textile material. With their special design, Narda 3D Series mattresses provide a very efficient air circulation between the interior volume of the mattress and the ambience, offering thermal comfort and hygiene. Thanks to this efficient air circulation, perspiration during sleep is prevented, the temperature and humidity equilibrium of the body is protected, a sound, uninterrupted and high quality sleep is enabled. The mattress can stay hygienic for years, it does not produce mites and bacteria inside, and mildew and odour are not formed in the mattress. 

Yunus A. Cengel ve M. A. Boles, Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach”, 6th Ed., McGraw Hill, 2007

This article is prepared by Narda Mattress R&D team. All rights reserved. Can not be used without permission. 

Why Does Lionel Messi Not Get Injured?

Türkçe Versiyon

The Secret is Proper Nutrition and Regular Sleep

lionel messi and sleep, football players and sleep
Messi is one of the most talented football players in the world and also one of the footballers whom football fans love to watch the most.

Lionel Messi had a disease which caused lack of growth hormone at his childhood and it was thought he was not going to be able to be a football payer. The doctors declared mobilization and they applied special treatments for him, providing him to be a healthy footballer.  

When the question “Why does Messi not get injured?” is asked to Ramon Cugat, the world famous doctor of Barcelona Football Club, he replies “I think that Messi is closer to the skies rather than the earth. He is a gift from God”.

football performance and sleep
Indeed, the secret to this issue comes from FC Barcelona technical manager Pep Guardiola. Guardiola made fundamental changes which affect the total lifestyle of Messi.

As far as we can see recently Messi is not daunted from kicks, but he had 7 serious injuries until year 2008. Pep Guardiola took duty at that era at the team, starting by making revolutions in Messi’s life conditions. 

The First Condition is Proper Nutrition

To make Messi the team leader of Barcelona, Pep Guardiola analysed his habits of nutrition first. He removed Argentine kitchen, meat and sugar containing products from Messi’s menu. His eating habits were completely changed and a vegetable oriented food program started to be followed.

Regular Sleep Protects from Injuries

messi's performance and sleep
The second precaution taken by Guardiola was to provide regular sleep pattern for the Argentine star. Guardiola knew that proper sleep was the factor of priority which reduced the possibility injury for a football player, so it was very important for him to provide that Messi got regular sleep.

Guardiola removed the concepts of  television, staying awake until late hours and night life from Messi’s life and provided success in implementing this. Messi used to follow especially the events and matches from Argentina on television, but his relationship with the TV was finished. Regular and good sleep was provided for Messi.

Technical manager Guardiola made the changes permanent and successful about eating properly and sleeping well in Messi’s life, then he passed on to the stage of medical support and education.

messi and sleep
Messi’s muscle structure was analysed, a special work program was prepared for him. Physiotherapist Juanjo Brau spent all his time with Messi and prevented faults. To make Messi more powerful, the vitamins that he needed were determine and he was given these vitamins. Then Messi made extra trainings which were special for him. His muscles became twice more powerful than they used to be. The technical staff who knew that the first factor in foot and ankle injury was the posture gave Messi special education. Brau made special trainings for Messi on the beach during his injury periods, removed muscle tensions and made his feet become faster.

Footballer physchology was one of the most important factors for Guardiola, to prevent injuries Messi had to have a strong physchological condition. Guardiola consistently spoke to Messi, preaching him, and made him gain the habit of reading.

After all these work and precautions, Lionel Messi started to show a flawless footballer profile who runs, gives passes, makes shots, helps his defence and team mates, and contributed Barcelona’s rebirth.

Messi had heavy injuries before, in 2008 he faced a muscle injury during Celtic game and left the stadium in tears. It was reported that his football life was in danger. In 2010, during Atletico Madrid game he was subject to the intervention of Tomas Ujfalusi, got injured from his ankle and was away from the fields for two weeks.

Messi used to play 27 matches per season at the average. After starting to work with Guardiola he began to get injured less frequently and increased this number to 55 games per season.

Regular and high quality sleep is accepted to be one of the most critical and essential factors for preventing injuries and increasing sportive performance not only for footballers, but in all sports branches. 


Hurriyet Spor,

Healthy Celeb,

What is The Amount of Sleep We Need?

Türkçe Versiyon
az uyku sağlığa zararlı

The duration of sleep a human needs changes from person to person and also depends on many factors like age. 

Insufficient sleep may damage health, it may even shorten life. Sleep deprivation can deeply effect memory, learning, creativity, emotional stability and physical health. Sleep experts say that significant part of body mechanisms are effected negatively from sleep deprivation. Insufficient sleep negatively effects the heart, lungs, kidneys, appetite, metabolism and weight control, immune system and resistance to diseases, pain sensitivity, reaction times, mood and brain functions. 

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

ne kadar uyumalıyız
    As an average;

    • Infants need approximately 16 hours of sleep a day.
    • Teenagers need approximately 9 hours of sleep a day.
    • Adults usually need approximately 7 or 8 hours of sleep a day. But the amount of sleep needed by an adult changes from person to person between 5 to 10 hours of sleep every day.
    • Women in the first 3 months of pregnancy may need several more hours of sleep than usual.

    "Are You Getting Enough Sleep?", The Guardian,
    "Are You Getting Enough Sleep?", WebMD,

    "Az uyku sağlığa zararlı", The New York Times,

    Sleep and Heart Attack

    Türkçe Versiyon

    Sleep Disorders and Heart Health
    sleep disorders and heart health

    NTNU-Tronheim Norwegian Science and Technology University has conducted a research to investigate the relationship between sleep and hearth health. Norwegian scientists have made a survey among 52.610 men and women, asking them questions about whether they have sleep problems or not. Some of these questions were as follows:

    • How often do you have difficulty in falling asleep?
    • How often do you wake up during the night?
    • When you wake up in the morning, do you feel that you had a poor sleep? How often do you face this situation?

    After obtaining the results of the survey, the scientists followed the participants for 11 years. With the data gathered during the 11 year long study, the following conclusions were made:

    When compared to people with no sleep problems;

    • Those who have difficulty in falling asleep have a 45% increased relative risk of heart attack
    • People with problems staying asleep have a 30% increased relative risk of heart attack
    • People who wake up tired in the morning have a 27% increased relative risk of heart attack.
    Sleep and heart attack

    Sleep disorders may cause more stress hormones to be secreted and this may result in heart failure. Stress hormone affects the heart functions negatively.

    Dr. Lars E. Laugsand from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology said “This is just one study, and more are needed to try to explain the mechanisms behind these associations”

    Norwegian University of Science and Technology,