Eat Right to Sleep All Night
I used to sleep like a baby all night long, but middle age has done more than expand my waist and weaken my eyesight, it’s affecting my sleep habits.
Nutrition affects your body, mind and soul. Eating a healthy diet will help you feel better, look better, sleep better, and basically do anything better.
Our body needs at least 6-8 hours of sleep each night. You can’t ever catch up on lost sleep, so do what it takes to get those ZZZs each and every night. Here’s a few recommendations on what foods to eat, and what to delete for a good night’s sleep. Consider the organic version for the food recommendations listed below.
Embrace Tryptophan-Rich Foods
Did your mom ever give you warm milk before bedtime to help you sleep? Well, this really does work to help you drift off to sleep. Do you know why? Dairy foods contain tryptophan, which is a sleep-promoting substance. Other foods that are high in tryptophan include nuts and seeds, bananas, honey, and eggs. Even a little honey in a small glass of fat free milk before turning in may help you get to sleep.
Carbs Complement Dairy: Put them together at bedtime
Carbohydrate-rich foods complement dairy foods by increasing the level of sleep-inducing tryptophan in the blood. A great bedtime snack to get you into sleep mode may be a small bowl of sugar free cereal and non fat milk, Greek yogurt and whole grain crackers, or bread and cheese.
Believe it or not, a little snack before bedtime may help you sleep. Don’t use this suggestion as an open invitation to gorge yourself. Just a couple bites will do.
Stop It With The High Fat Foods, Especially At Night!
Research shows that people who eat high-fat foods not only gain weight, they also experience a disruption of their sleep cycles. A heavy meal activates digestion, which can lead to nighttime trips to the bathroom and a “busy stomach” will not allow the body to rest.
Beware of Hidden Caffeine
It’s no surprise that an evening cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea may disrupt your sleep. Even moderate caffeine can cause sleep disruptions. Beware the less obvious caffeine sources, like chocolate, soda, and even decaffeinated coffee. For better sleep, cut all caffeine from your diet four to six hours before bedtime.
No Late Night Alcohol
Alcohol may help you fall asleep quicker but you may experience frequent awakenings, less restful sleep, headaches, night sweats and nightmares. If you consume alcohol at dinner, make sure you have a glass of water to dilute the alcohol’s effects. For a good night’s sleep, avoid alcohol four to six hours before bedtime.
Beware of Spicy Foods at Night
Spicy foods can lead to heartburn and gastro intestinal issues. It’s best not to have really spicy food before bedtime. Again, follow the 4 hour window before bedtime rule.
Keep Protein to a Minimum at Bedtime
Protein is great during the day but high doses of protein before bed is not a good idea. Protein-rich foods are harder to digest. Remember to go with the combined carb suggestion for a full night’s sleep.
Limit Fluids by 8 PM
Once you hit that “4 hours before bedtime window” start watching your fluid intake. Too much fluid before turning in can lead to interrupted sleep. Once you get up to go to the bathroom, it can be difficult to get back to sleep or at least back to a deep sleep. Remember, uninterrupted rest is best.
By following these simple, common sense recommendations you can help your middle aged body and mind get a much needed and well deserved restful night’s sleep. Make these suggestions a habit and soon you may find more ZZZZ’s in your sleep routine.
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