Diet and Sleep
The food you eat not only contributes to the quality of your weight and general health, but also on how well you sleep. Some foods help you sleep better. While others can make sleep difficult or even impossible.
Foods that improve sleep include fruits, green leafy vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, and mushrooms. Even spices such as dill, sage and basil help with sleep problems.
Drinking milk before bedtime, a common method to aid sleep, is actually effective. Milk actually contains tryptophan, which can be converted to serotonin, the hormone that controls sleep. Honey, turkey, egg whites and tuna also contain tryptophan, which are good night time snacks.
Alternatively, caffeine-rich food and beverages should be avoided right before going to bed. This includes coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa, soft drinks and some medications. Some foods that are rich in tyramine can also affect sleep. Tyramine actually causes the release of a substance that stimulates the brain keeping you awake. This is found in bacon, cheese, sugar, ham or tomatoes.
Spicy foods, on the other hand, may cause gastrointestinal reflux or heartburn. While sweet or greasy foods can also cause indigestion and bloating. Though alcohol can make you sleepy, it actually upsets sleep patterns later in the night resulting to frequent waking in the night to urinate.
Even how much and when you eat affect sleep patterns. It is best to keep the last meal of the day light. Eating too much or heavy meals before sleeping may cause indigestion, heartburn and discomfort. It is recommended to start with a hearty breakfast, the main meal of the day around noon, and a light supper early in the evening.
You may also take vitamins and supplements to aid sleep. Calcium and magnesium helps induce sleep. Calcium-rich foods include milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, sardines, salmon, broccoli, tofu, egg, and calcium-fortified food. Magnesium is found in nuts, almonds, cashews, beans, and spinach.
Vitamins B6 and B12 are often beneficial and used in the treatment of insomnia. Some of the foods that contain Vitamin B6 are liver, meat, brown rice, fish, butter, wheat germ, whole grain cereals, and soybeans. Foods rich in Vitamin B12 include some plant milks, some soy products and some breakfast cereals.
Be careful on what foods you eat. It can directly affect the way you sleep. By improving your eating habits, you will have a better chance at a good night’s sleep.