Most people have had their share of sleeping difficulties throughout their lives. This is pretty normal, especially if going through a stressful time, or say, having a newborn baby.
However, sleeplessness can become a problem if it goes on for a longer period of time. If a lack of sleep is starting to interfere with daytime activities, it may be time to look into what underlying cause is present.
One of the main causes of sleep problems is the food and drinks which are consumed during waking hours. Many don’t realize how much of an effect these can have on your sleep.
Consequences of Bad Eating on Your Sleep
When it comes to food and drinks, there are a few that are definite sleep disruptors. The following will have the consequence of wreaking havoc on a good night’s sleep.
Fatty foods such as chips, fries, ice cream, and donuts can actually keep you awake and cause restlessness in the wee hours of morning. This is because fats take a long time to be completely absorbed and digested by the body.
Caffeinated products such as coffee, chocolate, soda, and other sugary drinks have a stimulating effect which can reduce the amount of deep sleep you get, so avoiding intake of these food when nearing bedtime is recommended.
Alcohol -Most people also think that having a glass or two of wine will help them relax and fall asleep. However, doing so will actually work in the opposite way oftentimes as the blood sugar levels drop once the alcohol has been processed, and your body wakes up as a result. It is better to pass on alcohol if you know you are going to sleep in the next couple of hours.
Now that you know what not to eat and drink, the following are the best foods to include in your diet to improve your quality of sleep.
Best Foods for Better Sleep
Eating protein-rich food such as salmon, tuna, or halibut will make your satiety last until morning, help with muscle repair while you sleep, and improve your metabolism the moment you wake up.
These foods are also high in tryptophan, an amino acid which boosts the serotonin levels in the body and helps you sleep better.
If you want a light snack, choose complex carbs over simple carbs. Examples are slices of whole wheat bread or a bowl of oatmeal. Complex carbs prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes which may interfere with sleep.
Not all fats are bad for the body. You need fats, but only the good ones. Examples are the omega-3 fatty acids and the monounsaturated fats which are found in baked salmon, yogurt, peanut butter, eggs, and walnuts.
Beans and lentils
People who eat more legumes in their diet will sleep better, as the high amounts of phytochemicals and soluble fiber soothe the nervous system. So the next time you’re cooking a hearty soup or stew, try to incorporate kidney beans, pinto beans, edamame, or chickpeas.
Try a light salad chocked full of leafy greens to improve the quality of your snooze. Just avoid putting on a salad dressing that’s loaded with sugar; use a balsamic vinaigrette instead.
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, dandelion greens, watercress, and arugula are high in folate, which helps you sleep better.
Chamomile, valerian root, and lavender are calming and soothing herbs which you can put in your evening tea before turning in at night.
Never underestimate the power of water to help you sleep better. Drinking lots of water keeps the blood pressure down and flushes out toxins. You can liven things up by adding slices of lemon and sprigs of mint to a jar of water before filling it up.
Avoid fruit juices that have high sugar content—they will only give you a sugar rush and crash. The exception to this is tart cherry juice, which contains natural melatonin to help you sleep.
Sleep Rite Can Help
Aside from consuming food and drinks that promote healthy sleep, enrolling in a sleep study and wellness program is an excellent choice. In this type of program, your sleeping patterns and habits will be evaluated in order to determine if you are suffering from any type of sleeping disorder.
Some sleeping disorders, such as sleep apnea, are rarely diagnosed and treated, resulting in health conditions that remain undetected until they are already in their later stages. This makes them even harder to treat.
When it comes to bedtime, first things first, eat well for better sleep! However, if you try switching to a healthy diet, and are still experiencing sleeping problems, don’t endure another sleepless night. Let the sleep experts at Sleep Rite help you understand what is going on, and you will be on your way to a good night’s rest at last.