Foods That Affect Your Sleep
Food can affect your mood, energy level, and bodily functions – so it’s not surprising that it can affect your sleep as well.
If you’re experiencing trouble sleeping or trouble to stay asleep, your diet could be a source of the problem. Most of us know that we shouldn’t eat anything right before bed, but there are some foods that you can enjoy with or shortly following dinner that can help you have a more restful sleep. Integrating these eating habits into your life could improve the extent and quality of your sleep.
Mom Gave You Warm Milk for a Reason
There is a natural amino acid called tryptophan that is present in dairy products. Tryptophan is a sleep-promoting substance and gets your body relaxed and ready for bed. If you’re lactose intolerant, other sources of this chemical can be found in nuts, seeds, eggs, honey, and bananas.
Why You Might Be Craving Carbs
Foods that are high in carbohydrates can increase tryptophan in the blood. If you haven’t been sleeping well and have been craving carbs more than usual, this could be your body’s way of helping you catch some ZZZs. Have a light snack such as a bowl of cereal, bread and cheese, or nuts and crackers at least one hour before bed.
Staying Hydrated Can Help
Water is important for your body like oil is important for your car. Drinking water throughout the day improves your bodily functions for hours to follow. Dehydration can cause dry mouth and nasal passages that make it harder to breath and cause body cramping.
Hide the Heavy and Fatty Foods
Eating a heavy meal before bed makes your digestive system work harder. While this is fine during the day when you’re up and about, it can lead to indigestion if you lie down or head to bed shortly after eating. Indigestion can make it harder for your body to relax and sleep.
No High-Protein Foods Before Bed
Eating foods high in protein before bed can also trigger the digestive system to work more rigorously. Eating high-protein foods too close to bedtime can make it difficult for your mind and body to power down.
Cut the Caffeine and Nightcap After Dinner
A cup of coffee shortly following dinner may not be the only reason you’re not getting a good night’s sleep. Soda, chocolate and even some teas contain levels of caffeine that could keep you tossing and turning all night. Avoid caffeine and alcohol at least 4 hours before bedtime.
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