Can Certain Foods Help Me Sleep Better?

There’s a lot of talk about when your last meal of the day should be. Should it be hours before you go to sleep or can you eat right before you go to sleep. What are the problems of eating right before you sleep? Weight gain and acid reflux are attributed to the problems it causes. While it’s proven that acid reflux can be caused when eating at bedtime, there’s varied opinions about whether it causes weight gain. After all, a calorie is a calorie, no matter when you eat it. However, some people can’t sleep, so consuming some foods to help you sleep better might be the answer.

Why can’t you sleep if you’re hungry?

Your survival instincts might be keeping you awake. In caveman days, hunger kept man awake to search for food. Too little food isn’t normally the problem, but the instinct still remains, so if you find yourself wandering the room, unable to sleep, go for a midnight snack—as long as you don’t have acid reflux. The body uses that food to help boost serotonin levels. Choose food high in tryptophan—a protein. Turkey is known for its tryptophan and so is other poultry, pork, seafood and beef. Tryptophan also needs help from carbs to boost serotonin levels.

Besides serotonin, the body requires melatonin.

Melatonin triggers the signal to tell the body to go to sleep. It’s part of the internal clock. You can get melatonin from almonds and other nuts. Nuts also have riboflavin, magnesium and phosphorus. Magnesium reduces stress hormones, which may also help you sleep. It’s also a good source of antioxidants, to help protect your body. Just a handful of nuts, especially walnuts or almonds, can make slumber time easier.

Snack on tuna, salmon or other fatty fish.

Just eating the fish, whether tuna, salmon, sardines or mackerel are high in Omega-3 and tryptophan. Don’t eat them alone, but mix them up with some mayo, celery and onions and spread on a cracker for the carbs. The vitamin D combined with the carbs and Omega-3 that fights inflammation can take you to dreamland sooner. They all help to increase the serotonin, which is responsible for the quality of sleep, how quickly you fall asleep and your sleep cycle.

  • Maybe your not big on eating meat at bedtime and fish are out of the question, try warm milk or chamomile tea instead. Milk has both tryptophan and calcium that helps lower stress levels. Chamomile tea acts like a natural relaxing compound.
  • Make a small parfait from Greek yogurt, frozen or fresh cherries, a half a banana and chopped walnuts. All the ingredients can help you nod off faster. Just drinking the cherry juice can also be beneficial.
  • Combine protein like nuts, eggs, fish, yogurt, poultry and beef with carbs, such as whole grains, honey, kale and bananas. If you include bananas, you’ll boost your potassium level, which helps you sleep sounder throughout the night.
  • If you frequently have problems sleeping, but are also trying to lose weight, plan ahead. Save some of your calories for bedtime and have a snack ready about an hour before you go to bed.

For more information, contact us today at Rising Fitness Gym



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