Many foods have naturally occurring substances that bring on sleep – but, there are also many foodstuffs that can be worst foods for sleep.
Some people have difficulty falling asleep – and others cannot stay asleep. And then there are the persons that have trouble turning life “off” and going to bed at a reasonable time.
However, whatever the reason, you’re not alone—up to 50 million people in the U.S. don’t get enough sleep. Still, the health benefits of a good night’s sleep are numerous: rest helps keep the brain sharp, the skin looking youthful, the waistline trim, the immune system strong, and lowers your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
Good and Bad Foods for Sleep
Food plays a great role in the sleep management. There are best and worst foods for sleep. In this article, we talk about foods that can help or harm your sleep.
- What You Consume Affects How You Sleep
If you can pick the right food to help you get the best sleep ever, wouldn’t you? And if you knew which food would hinder your soothing slumber, wouldn’t you avoid it? Now is your chance to learn which foods to consume, and which to avoid for a good night’s rest.
- Go for Tryptophan-Rich Foods
We have all heard of the magical ability of warm milk to send us off to the dream world. That is because dairy foods have tryptophan – a potent sleep-promoting substance. Some other foods that are rich in tryptophan include honey, eggs, bananas, nuts, and seeds.
- Have a Snack Before Sleep
In case you are struggling with insomnia, some food in your belly may help you sleep. However, do not use this as an excuse to pig out. Remember to keep the snack little. A heavy meal will make you uncomfortable, tax your stomach, and make you unable to get restful ZZZs.
- Opt for Carbohydrate-Rich Foods
Food high in carbohydrate complement dairy food by increasing the sleep-inducing levels of tryptophan in the blood. Therefore, a few ideal late night snacks to get you sleepy may include yogurt and crackers, cereal and milk, or cheese and bread.
- Put Down the French Fires and Burger!
Here is just another reason to avoid high-fat foods – scientists found that people who often consume high-fat foods not only gain weight, they also suffer from insomnia. A heavy meal triggers digestion that could lead to nighttime trips to the toilet.
- Beware of Caffeine
It is no any surprise that an evening cup of coffee may disrupt your sleep. Remember that even moderate caffeine could cause sleep disturbance. Moreover, do not forget about less obvious sources of caffeine, like cola, chocolate, decaffeinated coffee, and tea. To improve your sleep, try to cut all caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime.
- Pills May Contain Caffeine
Certain OTC and prescription drugs may contain caffeine, as well, such as weight loss pills, pain relievers, cold medicines, and diuretics. These and other pills may contain as much or sometimes, even more, caffeine than 1 cup of coffee. Thus, I recommended you to check the prescription drug information sheet or the label of nonprescription medications to see if your medicine can cause insomnia or interferes with sleep.
- Skip the Nightcap
Here is the catch with alcohol: It might help you fall asleep faster, but you might experience less restful sleep, frequent awakenings, nightmares, headaches, and night sweats. So, if you’re consuming alcohol in the evening – try to balance every drink with a glass of water in order to dilute the effects of alcohol. For a good night’s rest, the better bet is to avoid drinking alcohol 4-6 hours before sleep.
- Beware of Spicy Food
Lying down with a full tummy could make you really uncomfortable since our digestive system slows down when we snooze. Further, it can also lead to heartburn, as could spicy cuisine. Ensure to finish a heavy and spicy meal at least 4 hours before sleep.
- Keep Protein to a Lowest at Bedtime
If you prefer Atkins diet (the favorite diet of Kim Kardashian) this may be difficult for you – but, sorry Atkins!
Even though protein is a crucial part of everyone’s daytime fare, it can be a poor choice for a sleep time-snack. High-fat, protein-rich foods are very hard to digest. Therefore, skip the protein-rich snacks before bedtime and go for sleep-friendly carbs (as crackers) or glass of warm milk.
- Cut the Liquids by 8 P.M.
Staying well hydrated through the day is good for your body, but decrease your liquid intake before bed. You will definitely have a bad night’s sleep if you are constantly getting up to go to the toilet.
- Don’t Be Fooled by a Comforting Smoke
Nicotine is a stimulant that has effects like caffeine. Avoid smoking in total and mostly if you wake up in the middle of the night or before bedtime.
Sleep is crucial for good health. Sleeping disorders can truly affect your lifestyle and overall health.
In addition to providing us nourishment, the foods we eat and drink could slow us down or pick us up. Knowing how beverages and food affect your body can help keep you awake during the day and avoid the discomfort of sleeplessness at night. Foods for sleep, like tryptophan-rich and carbohydrate-rich foods, are the ideal choices if you want to have a bedtime snack. Milk, honey, eggs, seeds, and nuts are some of the best foods for sleep. Caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes can really affect your sleep and cause many sleeping problems.
4 out of 5 adults in America drink at least 1 serving of coffee, soda, tea, or other caffeinated drinks each day. Caffeine is a stimulant, which works by blocking the hormonal actions in the brain – and makes us feel sleepy.
References: Webmd.com Sleepfoundation.org Healthysleep.med.harvard.edu