Diet and Sleep

Sleep is so important in our health. And what we eat during the day can have a huge impact on our sleep. Food can affect how easily you fall asleep and the quality of the sleep you get. Some foods help your brain to calm down, while others stimulate it. If you have trouble getting to sleep or sleeping well, your food intake may be unwittingly causing problems.

Your food choices can sometimes affect the amount or even the quality of sleep that you get. Also, your food choices can help you achieve a better night’s sleep. We’ve all heard to limit alcohol and caffeine consumption near the end of the day. Good nutrition is important, but the right portion sizes are just as important. You don’t want to overdo it or you’ll also defeat the purpose of trying to get the right amount of sleep.

If you eat too much or eat the wrong thing before bed it can cause acid reflux during the night causing food to rise up in your throat. Acid reflux is irritating and painful and if left untreated will develop into a major health issue. Try a homemade quick relief remedy of an ounce of apple cider vinegar and a few ounces of water. Drink the mixture before bed.

Melatonin is an essential element necessary for promoting sleep. A few walnuts would be a perfect snack before bed because of their melatonin content. Almonds are another source to help you get to sleep because of the magnesium content they have.

Foods containing an amino acid called tryptophan are known to induce sleep. Tryptophan can help make you sleepy, and sleep better through the night. Foods without this may disturb your sleep. Adding carbohydrates with tryptophan-containing protein will help relax your brain. However, a carbohydrate-only snack is likely to stimulate you and make it hard to sleep.

Here are some foods that contain high amounts of tryptophan:

  • Whole grains
  • Hummus
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Dairy
  • Meats, Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Seafood
  • Beans
  • Hazelnuts and Peanuts
  • Soy Foods

Lighter meals are better to help you relax. Avoid high-fat meals and large servings because they make your digestive system work too hard and may end up keeping you awake longer.

Try these ideas for dinner options that will help you sleep:

  • Pastas
  • Meat/Poultry with Vegetables
  • Stir-fry Tofu
  • Scrambled Eggs and Cheese
  • Seafood with Cheesy Pasta

When you get enough sleep along with good nutrition habits the two work together to help your body naturally repair itself and prevent health issues. Providing your body with sleep and good nutrition, your energy as well as your quality of life will naturally improve. Eating better and having a healthier lifestyle is one of the ways you can feel better every day and rest better at night.

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