Which foods to eat, and which to steer clear of for a good night's sleep

Monday August 7, 2017 at 1:24pm

Which foods to eat, and which to steer clear of for a good night's sleep

 

Reach for …

 1.    Tryptophan-rich foods 

Tryptophan is a sleep-promoting substance. Foods that are high in tryptophan include dairy products (such as milk or yoghurt), nuts and seeds, bananas, honey, and eggs.

2.    Carbohydrates 

Carbohydrate-rich foods complement dairy foods by increasing the level of sleep-inducing tryptophan in the blood. So a few late night snacks to help you sleep might include bread and cheese, a bowl of porridge, or yogurt and nuts. 

 

Steer clear of …  

1.    High-fat foods

Research shows that people who often eat high-fat foods experience a disruption of their sleep cycles. A heavy meal activates digestion, which can lead to nighttime trips to the bathroom.

2.    (Hidden) Caffeine 

Chocolate, cola, tea, and decaffeinated coffee may still contain moderate caffeine, and therefore cause sleep disturbance. For better sleep, it is recommended to cut all caffeine from your diet four to six hours before bedtime. *Some over-the-counter and prescription drugs contain caffeine, too. Check the label! 

3. Alcohol 

Although alcohol  may help you fall asleep faster, you may experience frequent awakenings, less restful sleep, headaches, night sweats and nightmares. If you are drinking alcohol in the evening, make sure to balance each drink with a glass of water to dilute the alcohol's effects. For a good night's sleep, it is recommended to avoid alcohol four to six hours before bedtime.

4.    Spicy food

A spicy meal can lead to heartburn, and uncomfortable sleep. Make sure to finish a heavy meal at least four hours before bedtime.

5.    Protein 

Although proteins are an essential part of our daytime diet, they are hard to digest. Avoid the high-protein snack before bedtime and opt for a dairy product instead. 

» Categories: Sleep
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