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High carbs up somnambulance

Eating food high in carbohydrates could make you sleep quicker.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2007 13:50 IST

Eating food high in carbohydrates, especially four hours before bedtime, could make you sleep quicker, says a new study.

Chin Moi Chow and colleagues at the University of Sydney studied 12 healthy men who were 18-35 years old.

The men tried three varieties of cooked rice in their meals - plain rice, long-grain rice and jasmine rice - with steamed vegetables in tomato puree. Jasmine rice has a high glycemic index - a ranking system for carbohydrates based on their effect on blood glucose levels. Plain and long-grain rice have lower glycemic index, reported the online edition of health magazine WebMD.

The researchers found that higher carbohydrates raised two brain chemicals involved in sleep, tryptophan and serotonin levels, making people sleepier, according to the Australian study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Foods with high carbohydrates quickly raise blood sugar and may hasten sleep, especially when eaten four hours before bedtime, the researchers report. Adding protein to the meal might change the results, Chow's team noted.