There are certain foods and drinks that can hinder your ability to sleep while there are some that will help you sleep better and faster. By avoiding certain foods at night and by increasing the consumption of some, you can avoid sleepless nights and enjoy a restful sleep.
We all know that whatever we consume, it will affect our body in one way or another. One should follow a well balanced diet in order to lead a healthy life. But apart from a balanced diet, timings of the meals are equally important for a healthy lifestyle and peaceful sleep.
Foods that Hinder Your Ability to Sleep
Here are 6 common foods and drinks that may interfere with your ability to sleep better and faster at night:
It’s no secret that a dose of caffeine at night can easily disrupt your sleep. Coffee has the most caffeine as compared to less caffeinated drinks such as chocolate or tea. If you want to have a good night’s sleep, stop consuming these caffeinated drinks at least 4 to 6 hours before your sleeping time.
You should even check your medications to see if they contain caffeine and may be contributing to a restless sleep.
Popular opinion states that alcohol can help you sleep faster. This is true, but there’s more to it. Alcohol doesn’t let you sleep longer. You wake up many times or keep tossing and turning in your sleep. It also causes a headache and sweating. You should stop consuming alcohol 4-6 hours before bedtime for a peaceful sleep.
Sugar provides your body with energy. You should be careful in sugar consumption as an overdose may send your body into severe shock. It’s better to consume it in the first half of the day so your body can break it down more effectively. Overdose of sugar consumption causes fluctuations in your energy levels which can sabotage your sleep at night.
4. Low-Carbohydrate, High-Fat Diets
High-fat foods like avocado, cheese and dark chocolate are extremely dangerous to the body. Not only do they cause massive weight gain but also disturb a healthy sleeping pattern. A heavy meal high on fat taken at night activates your digestion process making you go to the bathroom again and again, hence preventing you from a healthy sleep.
Similarly, experts suggest that low-carbohydrate diets like fish and eggs shouldn’t be consumed in the second half of the day as they have the ability to disrupt one’s sleeping pattern.
One should avoid eating beans at night because the digestive systems find it hard to digest beans. Bean consumption before bedtime will keep you up all night due to stomach-rumbling gas pain which will eventually affect the quality of your sleep. It’s best to eat them during the first half of the day to avoid any pains and stomach cramps.
Similar to beans, broccoli is also hard to digest. It’s full of fiber which makes it a hard job for your digestive system. Moreover, it’s a full powerhouse meal. Along with broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts also contain indigestible sugar which will keep you up all night due to gas pains.
One should avoid broccoli at night as it will hamper the sleeping pattern and will keep one awake due to terrible pain. Try to have broccoli during the day when the digestive system can break it down.
Foods that Help You Sleep Through the Night
On the flip side, here are some foods and drinks that have the ability to help you sleep through the night:
1. Cherries and Cherry Juice
Cherries are known to be excellent for a peaceful night’s sleep. This is because cherries have a high concentration of a hormone called melatonin which makes a person sleepy. After having cherries, this hormone is released in the body which causes drowsiness instantly. If you have trouble sleeping, keep a basket of cherries by your bedside and enjoy an undisturbed sleep.
Fish is also one of the foods that can help you sleep through the night. Most fish including shrimp, tuna and cod are rich in a natural sedative called tryptophan. This sedative gives you a good night’s sleep. Although you should be careful about seafood as all of them aren’t healthy for you and some may have contaminants in them. Some are unhealthy due to the methods used to catch them so it’s better to exercise caution when having fish.
Almonds have a high concentration of magnesium and calcium in them which automatically makes them an excellent bedtime snack. You can eat a handful of almonds or spread it like butter on bread before bedtime and enjoy an undisturbed sleep through the night. You can also combine almonds with protein food to make a healthy sleep time snack for yourself.
Bananas are the perfect fruit full of nutrition. They are rich in calcium and magnesium, both of which help your muscles relax. Having bananas before bedtime will relax your muscles and help you sleep peacefully. Restless leg syndrome and muscle cramps are caused by magnesium deficiency, which a healthy diet of bananas can cover for you.
5. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is a herb that has been used for thousands of years now to treat insomnia. It works effectively and relieves a person’s general anxiety disorder by calming the nerves. Having a warm cup of chamomile tea before bedtime will make the insomnia go away in no time. It is easily available in the market so it’s the best remedy for sleeplessness. If you are unable to find chamomile tea, you can go for decaffeinated green tea that helps you sleep better.
6. Warm Milk
We all know that dairy products are rich in calcium which boosts melatonin in our body. According to science, most calcium deficiencies in people are caused due to poor sleeping patterns. Warm milk can help you enjoy a healthy sleep at night without any disruption. A cup of soothing warm milk or chamomile tea before bedtime can make your insomnia go away instantly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does hot chocolate make you sleepy?
It sure does. The best way to drink hot chocolate is by keeping it below body temperature, just warm. This heavenly combination of chocolate and warm milk will make you feel drowsy in no time. Hot chocolate is very easy to make. You can make yourself one before sleeping and drift into a deep sleep.
Does honey help you sleep?
Honey is rich in glycogen which prevents the brain from a crisis trigger. The natural sugars present in honey also raise insulin levels which helps the tryptophan enter the brain which is a natural sedative. If you ever have trouble sleeping, just add honey in milk or any other drink before bedtime and enjoy a peaceful night.
Does cheese help you sleep?
Cheese contains a natural sedative tryptophan which helps in manufacturing the sleep inducing hormone in the body called melatonin. This hormone makes a person feel drowsy. Having cheese items before sleeping is an excellent diet as it will help you sleep instantly.
Does protein keep you awake?
Eating plain protein foods might keep you awake unless they’re mixed with some carbs. Protein contains tryptophan which can’t get through the blood-brain barrier easily unless and until mixed with carbs. Carbs contain insulin which clear the way for tryptophan to enter the brain. This combination of carbs and protein will help you sleep faster and better.
Does banana make you sleepy?
Bananas are rich in calcium and magnesium; both of these minerals are an excellent source to relax the muscles. The person automatically starts to feel drowsy when his muscles are at ease and relaxed. Bananas help in treating restless leg syndrome and nighttime cramps. Having a regular diet of bananas will rid you of insomnia and help you sleep peacefully through the night.
Whatever you ingest has a huge role to play in our sleeping pattern. A healthy sleeping routine is necessary for a healthy lifestyle. You can follow these tips and avoid sleep hindering foods before bedtime and start eating sleep inducing foods.