Did you know that eating before bedtime can affect how you sleep dramatically? Depending on what you eat before you hit your pillow, you will either be enjoying your sleep after a hard day’s work, or you will be tossing and turning or even worse, visiting the bathroom on a regular basis throughout the night.
Sleep affects both our mind and our body state. While sleeping our body restores the muscles in our body. Try going without sleep and you’ll find your mind playing tricks on you, having hallucinations, being stressed out and being in a state of general confusion.
Even though different researches have been made that do not give a clear cut conclusion of what foods help our sleep and which ones harm our sleep, there still is a good indication of which foods we should be eating just before bedtime. Here’s a list of what to eat and what to avoid:
Bananas – Very high levels of potassium and magnesium found in bananas makes them one of the best foods for eating before bedtime and promoting sleep. The potassium is great for cardiovascular health and cognitive functioning, and the magnesium helps relax the muscles.
Cereals – Your favorite cereal usually contains high levels of carbohydrates which promote sleeping. Adding milk to your cereal like many of us do, also promotes a good night’s sleep.
Milk – Remember the days when your mother gave you a glass of warm milk just before bedtime. Well it was not only to help us grow; it was to make us sleep. Milk contains tryptophan which is an amino acid that gives a feeling of calm, relaxation and sleepiness. Now I know why my mother used to give me two glasses of milk instead of one, when my dad used to come home from work early!!
Sweet Potatoes – A great mix of the sleep promoting complex carbohydrates and the muscle relaxant potassium.
Turkey – Eating turkey is also considered to help with better sleep since, like milk, contains the amino acid tryptophan which has a relaxing effect on the body.
Caffeine – We all know to stay away from coffee in the night time, but did you know that decaf also contains a small amount of caffeine. Some medication like pain relievers and weight loss pills also contain hidden traces of caffeine, just like most teas and soda.
Hot Spices and Fatty Foods – Spicy food usually causes heart burn but can also make you feel uncomfortable during sleep hours just like fatty foods that are hard to digest. Hot foods can also cause dehydration and you don’t want to be looking for water during your sleep.
Chicken – High levels of protein can be found in chicken which can be difficult to digest. Instead of your body relaxing and moving into sleep mode, it will be concentrating on digesting all that protein.
Dark Chocolate – Even though there are many health benefits of dark chocolate, it still has its portion of calories and contains caffeine as well. It also contains a white alkaloid powder called theobromine which has similar effects as caffeine which makes dark chocolate a bad food for eating before bedtime.
Wine – Alcohol in general can make you sleep faster, but it’s what happens after you sleep that’s the problem. Both white and red wine can be relaxing and soothing but it can also act as a stimulant so avoid drinking wine at least 3 hours before bedtime.
Having a good night’s sleep is so important for both your body and mind. Toss those late night bad habits out of the window and implement habits that can make your life a whole much more comforting and relaxing.
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