“Eat Crappy, Sleep Crappy.” That’s the message of a new study from the University of Pennsylvania. It found that people who reported the healthiest sleep patterns also had the most varied diets.
Some people have trouble falling asleep. Others can’t stay asleep. And then there are the people who have trouble turning life “off” and tucking into bed at a reasonable hour.
Whatever the reason, you’re not alone - more than 50 million Americans don’t get enough shut-eye. Yet the health benefits of a good night’s rest are countless: sleep helps keep you happy, your brain sharp, your immune system strong, your waistline trim, your skin looking youthful - and lowers your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Nothing is more annoying than insomnia, and the evidence is piling up that sleep is essential for good health. Your insomnia might be due to your diet. What you eat and drink before bedtime could be affecting your shut eye, causing restless nights and disturbed sleep.
To aid a good night's sleep avoid foods which have a high salt and fat content, and tuck into complex carbohydrates such as quinoa, foods rich in melatonin like cherries and grapes, and muscle-relaxing flaxseeds.
After a long day, a sound sleep is something that you wish for as soon as you hit the bed. But do you experience days when sleep simply evades you? Before you blame factors that are not in your control, you must know that the last morsel that you put in your mouth before bedtime plays a pivotal role in deciding what kind of sleep you will get. Experts believe that there are some foods that harm your sleep, others that are sleep promoters.
So let's find out about these sleep inducers and sleep stealers.
You may have fond memories of your mother or grandmother making you a glass of warm milk to help you fall asleep.
This may not be just an old wives’ tale. Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to the brain chemical serotonin.
Although the topic is a controversial one, some people believe that tryptophan and serotonin might make it easier to sleep. Or maybe a simple glass of milk brings back soothing childhood memories, which help you drift off.
2. Beneficial Carbs
According to a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating easily digested carbs (such as cereal, rice, potatoes or white bread) four hours before bedtime led people to fall asleep faster.
3. Fortified Cereal
Carbs in general are good for sleep but it’s not a great idea to binge on a box of cookies before bedtime (or anytime). Instead, try a bowl of Kashi or shredded wheat which contain “good” or complex carbs. Even better, cereal goes well with milk which has its own sleep-promoting qualities. Other complex carbs are quinoa, barley, and buckwheat.
Bananas help promote sleep because they contain the natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium. They’re also carbs which will help make you sleepy as well.In fact, bananas are a win-win situation in general. We need potassium for cardiovascular health and cognitive functioning.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a sleeper’s dream. Not only do they provide sleep-promoting complex carbohydrates, they also contain that muscle-relaxant potassium. Other good sources of potassium include regular potatoes (baked and keep the skin on), lima beans, and papaya.
Coffee contains caffeine, which is a central nervous stimulant. If you don’t know your tolerance, skip it, especially late in the day.
2. DARK CHOCOLATE
Chocolate contains not only calories, but caffeine, especially dark chocolate. A 1.55-ounce of milk chocolate bar, for instance, contains about 12 milligrams of caffeine, or the same amount as three cups of decaffeinated coffee. A dark chocolate bar has 20 milligrams of caffeine, about the same as half an ounce of espresso. Chocolate also contains theobromine, another stimulant that can increase heart rate and sleeplessness.
Any type of protein is going to be counterproductive if consumed at night. Digestion is supposed to slow by about 50% while you’re sleeping but if you eat a lot of protein, you digest [even] more slowly. Instead of focusing on sleeping, your body is focusing on digesting. Adding a carbohydrate to the protein can tip the balance back towards sleep.
4. JUNK FOOD
The stratospheric fat content of this particular fast food is guaranteed to be a sleep killer. Fat stimulates the production of acid in the stomach, which can spill up into your esophagus, causing heartburn. Fatty foods can also loosen the lower esophageal sphincter, the barrier between the stomach and the esophagus, making it even easier for acid to get in all the wrong places. In fact, there’s almost nothing to recommend this kind of high-fat, salt-laden indulgence if you want to preserve your health, including the quality of your sleep.
Beware of Hidden Caffeine
It's no surprise that an evening cup of coffee might disrupt your sleep. Even moderate caffeine can cause sleep disturbances. But don't forget about less obvious caffeine sources, like chocolate, cola, tea, and decaffeinated coffee. For better sleep, cut all caffeine from your diet four to six hours before bedtime.
Medications May Contain Caffeine
Some over-the-counter and prescription drugs contain caffeine, too, such as pain relievers, weight loss pills, diuretics, and cold medicines. These and other medications may have as much or even more caffeine than a cup of coffee. Check the label of nonprescription drugs or the prescription drug information sheet to see if your medicine interferes with sleep or can cause insomnia.
Skip drinking alcohol late
It may help you fall asleep faster, but you may experience frequent awakenings, less restful sleep, headaches, night sweats and nightmares. If you're drinking alcohol in the evening, balance each drink with a glass of water to dilute the alcohol's effects. For a good night's sleep, the better bet is to avoid alcohol four to six hours before bedtime
Beware of Heavy, Spicy Foods
Lying down with a full belly can make you uncomfortable, since the digestive system slows down when you sleep. It can also lead to heartburn, as can spicy cuisine. Make sure to finish a heavy meal at least four hours before bedtime.
Cut the Fluids by 8 P.M.
Yes, staying hydrated throughout the day is great for your body, but curtails your fluid intake before bed. You're sure to have interrupted sleep if you're constantly getting up to go to the bathroom
Don't Be Fooled by a Relaxing Smoke
Nicotine is a stimulant, with effects similar to caffeine. Avoid smoking altogether and especially before bedtime or if you wake up in the middle of the night
To Start Your Tailored Nutrition Plan, Visit Our Click here and Fill The Form To Schedule Your Visit With Our Nutrition Experts.