Recent research has shown that missing a few hours’ sleep each night can have a dramatic effect on your immune system and overall health.

We all know that when we’re tired we can more easily come down with a cold or flu and this is because our immune system is not working at its optimum. Too little sleep can also result in weight gain. Chronic sleep deprivation, can make you feel hungrier than normal and trigger weight gain by affecting the way your body processes and stores carbohydrate. Here are three nutrients that may help with insomnia:

1. Magnesium: This mineral is known as ‘nature’s tranquilliser’ and has a calming relaxing effect on the body in general. It is particularly helpful if your sleep is being disturbed by cramps as it is a muscle relaxant.

2. Theanine: This amino acid comes from green tea and not only helps maintain a calm alertness during the day but also a deeper sleep at night.

3. Tryptophan: Your body needs this amino acid in order to make serotonin, the relaxing and calming brain neurotransmitter. Tryptophan occurs naturally in fish, whole grains, chickpeas, almonds, eggs, bananas, dates and organic dairy.