The things we eat and drink affect our sleep more than most of us realise. If you’re having trouble sleeping, it could be down to what you’re putting into your body on a daily basis.
Eating Before Bed
Eating before bed can either help or hinder your sleep. If you’re indulging in takeaways and other junk foods before sleep, you could be disrupting your sleeping pattern. However, if you’re eating light, healthy snacks, you could help yourself drift off more easily. Snacks such as cereal and milk, or crackers and peanut butter could be a good snack to go for. You should also be careful of your beverages before bed. Sleep teas can be great aids, but coffee and alcohol should be avoided at all costs. Ideally, you’ll finish your last heavy meal at least 3 hours before bedtime.
Drinking Before Bed
Staying hydrated through the day is important. You should make sure you’re getting 2-4 litres of water a day. However, having a cut off time for your liquids is very sensible. If you’re getting up to go to the toilet through the night, you’re not going to get a great quality of sleep.
Foods That Are Good For Sleep
There are lots of foods that are good for sleep. Many of these foods contain something called tryptophan. Nuts, seeds, honey, bananas and eggs are rich in this nutrient. Many dairy foods contain tryptophan too. When pairing tryptophan with carbs, you can feel even sleepier. This is why light snacks like cheese and crackers and cereal and milk are perfect. Just don’t go overboard, as eating too much can send your digestive system into overdrive and keep you awake.
Foods That Are Bad For Sleep
Meals that are high in bad fats could hinder your sleep. This includes many deep fried foods and junk foods. Fat is not the enemy. Healthy fats are great for your diet, but you should know the difference between bad fats and good fats. While protein is an essential part of our daytime diets, it doesn’t make a great bedtime snack. Spicy foods should be avoided too, as they can give indigestion.
How Much Caffeine Do You Consume?
Caffeine can be the number one culprit for keeping people awake at night. Some people consume caffeine without even realising it! Things that contain hidden caffeine include coke, tea, coffee, and even decaffeinated coffee. Even dark chocolate, although very healthy, can contain high levels of caffeine. If you’re going to consume caffeine, try to do it earlier on in the day to avoid disrupting your sleep. You should also try to keep it to a minimum so that it has fully worn off by the time it’s bedtime. Also, pay attention to any medication you’re taking. Some medications can contain enough caffeine to keep you up at night.
There are many other things that can affect sleep. The amount of light in your room, whether you’re exercising or not, and your stress levels to name a few things. However, our diets are a huge part of it. Focus on improving yours and watch your sleep quality improve!