Sometimes looking at eating healthier can seem like a huge effort, however once you start to feel and see the benefits you will feel extremely different. It has been proven that eating and drinking certain foods can prevent you from getting to sleep. If you’re similar to us, you don’t only want to see the foods that we shouldn’t eat. So we have complied a list of dos and don’ts with regards to food & drink before bedtime.
Any food & drinks below that we do not recommend, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy them ever again! We are simply suggesting not consuming them at least 4-5 hours before bed time.
Lettuce contains lactucarium, which contains natural sedative properties and affects the brain similarly to opium. There are several brew recipes online which can help you get to sleep. Salad is also extremely light and easy for your body to process, meaning that your body will not have to use more energy to digest the meal.
One cup of chamomile tea can really help get you off to sleep! According to researchers, drinking the tea is associated with an increase of glycine, a chemical that relaxes nerves and muscles and acts like a mild sedative.
So what are you waiting for? Put the kettle on!
Cherries are one of the few natural foods that contain melatonin, the chemical that helps control our body’s internal clock, says Keri Gans, a registered dietitian in New York City and author of The Small Change Diet.
There is a study which found that drinking tart cherry juice helped those suffering from chronic insomnia get to sleep faster! #FruitIsYourFriend
Believe it or not, milk, cheese and yogurt can in fact help you get to sleep!
Much like carbohydrates, calcium helps the brain to use tryptophan meaning your body releases melatonin. Melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles. Calcium also allows your body to naturally regulate muscle movements.
Believe it or not, bananas help you get to sleep as they contain magnesium and potassium which can act as a natural muscle-relaxants. The carbs also help as they will make you sleepy.
Sweet potatoes are amazing, as they contain a great mix of carbohydrates and potassium which together really help to get you off to sleep. The Carbohydrates make tryptophan more available to the brain, which is why carbohydrate-heavy meals can make you drowsy. The potassium contains natural muscle relaxants which also helps you to relax before bed.
Coffee contains caffeine which is a central nervous stimulant. As the brain creates adenosine, it binds to adenosine receptors. The adenosine binding also causes the brain’s blood vessels to dilate, most likely to let in more oxygen during sleep. Caffeine looks just like adenosine to a nerve cell. Too much caffeine has a huge effect on your body, it makes your pupils dilate and your heart beat faster.
We would highly recommend not having any caffeinated food or drinks at least 4-5 hours before bedtime.
Alcohol of any kind is “terrible” for sleep, says says Russell Rosenberg, Ph.D., CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. The reason is that alcohol metabolizes slowly in your system which can result in being woken up in the night.
Alcohol consumption close to bedtime can have a dramatic impact on your quality of sleep, as it lessens time spent in REM sleep, the deepest and most restorative phase of sleep and happens around 90 minutes after we fall asleep.
Did you know that Dark Chocolate contains caffeine?!
Snacking on chocolate is not recommended before bed as the caffeine may trigger heartburn and IBS symptoms which will definitely not help you sleep. To put this into perspective, a standard 1.55 ounce chocolate bar contains around 12 milligrams of caffeine!
It’s not Indian food per se but the heavy spices which can keep you awake at night.
One study conducted in Australia found that young men who poured Tabasco sauce and mustard on their dinner had more trouble falling asleep and experienced less deep sleep than men who ate blander suppers. Spices can also cause heartburn.
We are giving Indian Curry as an example, however any meal with heavy species can keep you up at night. There is a study in Australia where those who had Tabasco and mustard with their meal found it significantly harder to fall asleep that night in comparison to those who ate a plain meal. It doesn’t help that spices can also cause heartburn, indigestion and in some cases trigger IBS.
The main ingredient in Energy Drinks is definitely caffeine. An eight-ounce drink contains about 80 mg of caffeine. This is equivalent to a one-ounce Starbucks espresso!
Any meal high in saturated fat will not help you get to sleep easily, specifically talking Bacon Cheeseburgers!
Firstly, your body will have to work overtime to digest the high amount of fat to be able to properly digest the food. Alongside this, the fatty food makes your body produce acid in your stomach which can spell heartburn. It’s also proven that high-in-fat meals can cause indigestion, which will not help you get to sleep!
If you are having problems with getting to sleep, we would advise speaking with your doctor, as each individual is different and certain foods may assist some but not others. We hope that this blog post helps, sweet dreams!