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What You Eat Affects How You Sleep

December 18, 2012

For generations we have been told that what you eat (and when you eat) will affect the way you sleep. It turns out however, that some of these “old wives tales” might have a big helping of truth to them…

A warm glass of milk before bedtime is good for you!
In fact most dairy products can help you get a better night’s sleep thanks to tryptophan, which is a sleep-promoting substance and is found in dairy products, nuts and seeds, bananas, honey, and eggs.

Carbs are not the enemy at bedtime
Carbohydrate-rich foods go well with dairy foods as they help to increase the level of tryptophan in the human body. So if you are feeling a little peckish before bedtime try eating a small bowl of cereal and milk.

Have a snack before bedtime
Yes you read that correctly, eat a small snack before you go to sleep, especially if you suffer from insomnia. This is because it is now believed that a small amount of food in one’s stomach can aid the sleep cycle. Please note however that this is not an invitation to pig out before bedtime, because a heavy meal will tax your digestive system, making you uncomfortable and prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.

Junk food will trash your good nights sleep
High-fat foods are not only bad for the waistline and heart, but also have a negative effect on sleep patterns. To make matters worse a heavy high-fat meal will activate the digestive system and can lead to trips to the bathroom that will interrupt your normal night’s sleep.

Cut out caffeine
We all know that a cup of coffee and certain types of tea can influence sleep patterns because of their caffeine content, but did you know that many medicines also contain high amounts of caffeine? These medicines include many over-the-counter drugs such as pain relievers, weight loss pills, diuretics, and cold medicines.

Say no to the nightcap
It might be true that alcohol can get you to fall asleep easily, but did you know that it does not always allow one to have a restful sleep? This is because the constant and continued use of alcohol can cause less restful sleep, headaches, night sweats and nightmares. If you are going to drink however, balance each drink with a glass of water. Better yet try to avoid alcohol any time before four to six hours before bedtime.

Keep away from high protein and spicy foods
Protein-rich foods are much harder for your body to digest, so rather go for a glass of warm milk or some bedtime friendly carbs in you must have something to eat before bedtime.

Smoking is bad for your sleep patterns and not just your health
Like caffeine nicotine is a stimulant, so it is better to avoid a cigarette before bedtime.

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