Last week’s episode of Ask Alina focused on how brain retraining can be used to resolve sleep-related issues. If you also watched the Benzo Recovery video, you heard more specifics on my journey and the challenges I experienced prior to coming across brain retraining, particularly as they related to sleep. 😴
In honor of #WorldSleepDay 💤 I wanted to take the opportunity to share a recipe for gluten-free banana muffins, as an evening snack with ingredients that I believe helped to support my sleep cycle more naturally regulating without the use of supplements in the weeks prior to implementing a brain retraining practice. Feel free to modify as needed for your nutritional or dietary needs. It wasn’t an absolute fix, but it was definitely supportive in helping to retrain my body’s transition to sleep while I went further in my brain retraining practice.
What’s special about the ingredients in this recipe?
Rich in potassium, which is a natural muscle relaxant.
Source of magnesium, which can lower stress + anxiety levels as well as promote sleep.
Contains the amino acid L-tryptophan, which gets converted to 5-HTP in the brain. 5-HTP is converted to serotonin, a chemical precursor to melatonin. Melatonin controls the sleep–wake cycle.
Source of melatonin, which regulates the sleep cycle and signals the body to prepare for sleep.
Rich in magnesium, which is anti-inflammatory and supports sleep; may also reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is known to interrupt sleep.
High in lauric acid, which has been linked with more restful sleep.
Contains an ideal ratio of fructose to glucose to support the liver during sleep processes.
Source of magnesium and releases melatonin in the brain to encourage sleep.
Promotes relaxation. The natural sugar found in raw honey raises insulin slightly and allows tryptophan to enter our brains more easily.
Anti-inflammatory and contains large amounts of polyphenol antioxidants.
Helps relax muscles and remove tension from body.
Regulates blood sugar levels which can support restful sleep.
Good source of L-tryptophan, a sleep-enhancing amino acid that helps make serotonin and melatonin.
Also contain melatonin, which may encourage you to fall asleep faster.
Great for brain health. Significantly high concentration of DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid.
Excellent source of antioxidants that can help fight oxidative stress. Higher antioxidant activity than most nuts.
High in antioxidants that can help fight oxidative stress and improve circulation.
Can support relief from inflammation such as arthritis, leading to a more restful sleep.
Full Ingredient List
Makes approximately 12 gluten-free banana muffins.
4 Medium Ripe or Extra Ripe Bananas
2 Eggs (or equivalent with an egg replacement)
3 TBSP Refined Coconut Oil
1 TBSP Raw Honey
7 OZ Almond Meal (or Unblanched/Natural Almond Flour)
1 TSP Cinnamon
1/2 TSP Baking Soda (not powder)
A Pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt
- Preheat oven to 320°F (160°C)
- Peel bananas and mash or blend in mixer
- Mix in remaining wet ingredients (eggs, coconut oil, honey)
- In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (almond meal, cinnamon, baking soda, salt)
- Add dry ingredient mixture into wet, and blend until well incorporated
Line muffin tin with and spoon mixture into cups; fill each cup about 2/3 of the way
- (optional) add garnish such as walnuts or blueberries
Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted
If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!