5 Must-Know Food Facts for Better Sleep

What and when you eat really does impact your quality of sleep. Certain foods can help you wind down, while others can make you feel like an insomniac. Thankfully we’ve got you covered with food tips to make for a smoother sleep.

Does this routine sound familiar? You crash on the couch for the 10 o’clock sports reel, and your stomach gurgles. You grab a bag of All Dressed chips and maybe a beer to wash it down. You pass out quickly, but gas and a full bladder means you’re tossing and turning like that ship in The Perfect Storm all night. The next morning, you feel like a bear coming out of hibernation.

Here’s how to get out of this funk with some simple tips:

1. Herbal teas and warm milk aren’t just old wives’ tales

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Believe it or not, this stuff works. Camomile and peppermint teas actually have a sedative effect, and warm milk is rich in calcium and the amino acid tryptophan, which helps your brain produce the sleep hormone melatonin.

 

2. Get hydrated early

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Get your fill of water at least two hours before bed. This way you’ll be heading to bed with an empty bladder. Getting out of bed for a 2 a.m. bathroom break doesn’t help your sleep pattern.

 

3. Simplify late-night snacks 

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If you’re too hungry to sleep, opt for a bowl of cereal (but not the sugar-crusted stuff). Eating spicy or fatty foods too close to bedtime will interfere with your sleep, so it’s best to save that slice of leftover pizza for tomorrow’s lunch.

 

4. Booze is better in moderation

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First, the good news – you don’t have to quit beer to sleep well. (Cue the trumpets!) If you want a drink after work, stick to one or two, and make sure the last one is two hours or more before bed. Better yet, nix the booze altogether if you really want a sound sleep.

 

5. Minerals matter

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Magnesium helps calm your body and relax muscles. Eat magnesium-rich foods like bananas, nuts and seeds (cashews, almonds, pumpkin, hazelnuts), salmon, spinach and whole grains throughout the day.

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