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The Best and Worst Food for Sleep

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The Best and Worst Food for Sleep

A good night sleep has been linked to happy, healthy and productive lives, as it improves body functions, strengthens immune system and energizes body.

Health professionals may insist you on practicing sleep hygiene before you go to sleep, or may suggest you to do exercises, but there’s one thing everyone would agree upon-i.e. your diet.

Yes, what you put in your mouth before bed time directly affects how many ZZZs you are going to take. Since, less sleep is associated with health issues like high blood pressure, poor blood-sugar control, obesity and poor quality sleep can lead to disorders like obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, shouldn’t we make sure, we eat food most likely to help us get a healthy amount of quality sleep. 

Through this article, we are going to alert you- which food you should eat and which you should steer clear to have a good night sleep. Think, if you knew which food would hinder your restful slumber, why would you take it?

Best food for sleep

  1. Tryptophan: Tryptophan is an immensely valuable supplement for those who are lacking either in quality or quantity sleep. The Neurotransmitter serotonin and the hormone melatonin- responsible for inducing a good sleep in us are naturally made from tryptophan in the body. This amino acid is loaded in various food items including dairy products, fruits, vegetables, legumes, sea food, grains, nuts and seeds.

Tryptophan also plays a positive role in treating one of the most dangerous sleep disorders, i.e. obstructive sleep apnea.

  1. Magnesium: Magnesium is a powerful nutrient instrumental in inducing sleep. Study shows that it has the ability to relieve insomnia and other sleep disorders as it helps in reducing the stress hormones that usually keeps us up during night. Magnesium rich diet also help in calming down muscles, giving us a peaceful and sleepy feeling. Also it is a potential therapy to relieve depression and other mood disorders. 

Some excellent sources of magnesium are fish, soybeans, avocados, banana, low fat yogurt, wheat germ, dark leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds.

  1. Calcium: Warm milk is commonly recommended to cure sleep disorders like insomnia in many homes. Calcium helps in putting us to sleep by increasing the production of melatonin. Melatonin is an anti-oxidant hormone that helps in calming down our brain activities during night and promotes sleep. As it is released at nightfall, it contributes a lot to the sleep-wake cycle.

Calcium is not the only reason to drink milk before sleep, it is also rich in tryptophan, a crucial amino acid, we have already discussed about. Foods rich in calcium other than milk are low-fat yogurt, almonds, spinach, figs, kale, fortified orange juice, soybeans etc.

  1. Drinks good for sleep: It is not just foods that are great for sleep, there are drinks rich in essential vitamins and minerals that helps aid us with sleep. These are: Warm Milk, almond milk, passion fruit tea, valerian tea, chamomile tea, peppermint tea and tart cherry juice.

Worst food for sleep

  1. Drinks that contain caffeine: If you are feeling tired and need a little pick-me-up drink to get up for the day, then coffee and energy drinks are really helpful. However, it is not recommended to drink caffeine near to bed time, as it can make your mind overactive to fall asleep.

  1. Dark Chocolates: Dark chocolates are known to be a tricky source of caffeine, as they contain more of it even as compared to white and milk chocolates. While having a couple of squares before sleep is fine, eating a whole bar before bed could mean tossing and turning for the whole night.

  1. Fatty Foods: Late night cravings could involve eating the leftover pizzas, ice creams, potato chips, cookies, crackers and everything full of fats. Having such a food at night results in making you feel sick when you are trying to sleep and super sluggish in the morning.

  1. Alcohol: It is indeed tempting to unwind with a glass of your favorite beverage, but the truth is, if you are doing so, you are not doing any sleep favors. It might help you nod off initially but alcohol is very disruptive for the later stages of sleep, phases important for our memory and motor skills.

  1. Spicy Foods: Lying down after eating a spicy food can leave you uncomfortable for the night. It may slow down your digestive system and cause heart burn also. Make sure, you finish up a spicy meal at least four hours before bed time.

  1. Water and Fluids: Staying hydrated throughout the day is great for your body but make sure you stop consuming any fluid 90 minutes before you go to sleep else you are sure to have interrupted sleep with constant getting up to go to the bathroom.

  1. Proteins: Proteins are undoubtedly, an essential part of our daytime fare, but eating a protein rich meal near bedtime can be a poor choice. This will cause your body spend more time on digestion rather than on sleeping. So, skip on the fatty high proteins snack before bed time and opt for a glass of warm milk and sleep friendly carbs instead.

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