Food doesn’t only affect your weight and health, but can also affect your sleep. And we’re not only talking about falling asleep, but also the quality of sleep and your energy level during the day can be affected by food. In this article we explain what you should and you shouldn’t eat to sleep well.
Caffeine and alcohol
You probably already know these two. However, they are important enough to be named. Alcohol might help you fall asleep, but during the night it disturbs your sleep. This is why you won’t feel energized the next morning. Do you really desire a night cap? Take one at dinner time, so it’s enough to fall asleep and worn off during the night. On the other hand caffeine avoids you from falling asleep. It activates the production of adrenaline, a hormone that gives you energy. It takes a long time before it’s worn off, so stop drinking or eating products with caffeine later than 16 o’clock.
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamin and minerals deficiencies can cause a weakened sleep/wake pattern and a lack of energy during the day. This is especially true for vitamin C, vitamin D3, vitamin B12 and magnesium. You will not have any deficiencies when you eat according to the dietary guidelines. But if you have been eating unhealthy for a longer time, it might be a cause of your sleeping problems!
L-what? Probably you have never heard of this amino acid. L-tryptophan can convert in serotonin, a calming hormone. Research shows that an high intake of l-tryptophan can be somnolent and reduce stress. Foods containing this amino acid are: bananas, eggs, brown rice and pumpkin seeds.
The last meal
Not only what your eat, but also when and how much you eat influences your sleep. The reason for this is actually quite obvious. Your body has to work harder to digest a big meal, while your body needs rest to fall asleep. Also meals high in fat are harder for your body to digest. However, you shouldn’t feel hungry while trying to sleep. Hunger can be so intense that you won’t fall asleep. So eat your dinner before 20 o’clock and if necessary a little snack later on. The best choice for a late night snack is something high in protein, like yogurt with fruits.
You know that feeling? You are just in bed and you need to go to the bathroom. Will you go or will you stay? Whatever you choose, it’s going to affect your sleep. Drinking enough water is important, but don’t start at night. Try not to drink anything one hour before bed and put a glass of water next to your bed for if you feel thirsty.