Food and Sleep – Which Foods Affect Sleep?

Are you busily rushing around trying to fit more into each day? Do you go to bed late in order to try and finish all your daily chores? People who do this a lot tend to find when they eventually fall into bed they can’t fall asleep straight away or they have fitful unsatisfying sleep.

We usually blame stress for our poor sleep but quite often it’s the food we eat, or don’t eat. If our lifestyles are hectic, attention to diet is one of the things that fall by the wayside. We eat whatever we can get our hands on without paying any attention on how it may be affecting our health.

Pay attention to what you’re putting in your mouth on a daily basis, include snacks and drinks as well as meals. If you have a bad night’s sleep, what foods did you eat that day that may be responsible? Eventually a pattern will emerge. To help, here are a few pointers about what to eat and what not to eat if you want to improve the quality of your sleep.

To start with, have you eaten too much? Eating a large meal before going to bed will almost guarantee you will suffer indigestion which will lead to restless sleep. The body cannot rest when it is trying to digest a large amount of food.

Are you eating high fat meals? Even if you don’t have a weight problem, eating meals high in fat will cause the same problem as overeating – Indigestion!

Spicy foods are notorious for causing heartburn which doesn’t make for a comfortable night! Some people can cope well with curries before bed while others can’t. Let experience be your guide.

Like a piece of chocolate after dinner? Unfortunately chocolate contains caffeine, a known stimulant. Keep the chocolate for after lunch.

Foods that make you sleepy

So which foods are best for sleep? Bananas contain both melatonin and serotonin, both which ease stress and promote a feeling of calm. Melatonin in food can help also you sleep when eaten at night. Turkey contains tryptophan which eventually converts to melatonin in the body.

Foods high in carbohydrates cause the release of serotonin and are best eaten at night. A glass of milk contains tryptophan, also a great nightcap.

If you feel like a hot drink at night, forget the tea and coffee and reach for a cup of chamomile tea. Chamomile has a mild sedative effect as well as helping digestion.

So think before you eat, especially at night. It could mean the difference between a restless night and a peaceful one.

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