As a society, we are sleeping less. So, it should come as no surprise that lack of sleep is a common complaint among adults. While your sleep environment is a key component to a good night’s rest, how and what you eat also plays a big role in your quality and quantity of sleep.
Follow these tips to find out how you can eat to sleep better and be on a path to a more restful slumber:
- Don’t skip, then splurge. Skipping meals changes your hormone levels and can throw off your body’s normal sleep pattern. Eating large, late dinners to make up for skipped meals only makes matters worse. Big meals increase blood flow to your digestive tract and stimulate your system instead of calming your body. Do your best to stick to your normal eating routine to avoid restless nights.
- Strike the proper balance. Follow a well-rounded diet with foods high in calcium and B vitamins. These vitamins, along with magnesium, help to promote better sleep. Dairy and leafy greens are a great source of calcium, which help our bodies produce the “sleep hormone” melatonin. Vitamin B6 helps our body produce the “calming hormone” known as serotonin. This vitamin can be found in chickpeas, sunflower seeds, and wheat bread, to name a few.
- Say no to after-dinner espressos. Caffeine can stay in your system for up to 12 hours, thus keeping you tossing and turning all night. Opt for decaf the next time someone offers you a cup of coffee after dinner.
- Don’t be a party victim. Know what foods cause you indigestion and avoid them close to bedtime. Stay away from fatty and spicy foods as they can lead to acid reflux and indigestion. Also, keep alcoholic drinks to a minimum. Too much alcohol will disrupt your body’s natural rhythms and may keep you up all night.
- Go herbal. Have a soothing cup of tea, such as chamomile, passionflower, or verbena, before bed. These teas act as a mild sedative, which help to calm and relax your body.