Portrait of Margurite Sleeping, painting by Henri Matisse / WikiArt

How Diet Affects Sleep Quality

What you eat and drink can affects sleep more than you might realize. You probably know that consuming caffeine too late in the day is bad news for getting to bed on time, but did you know that some foods can help you sleep better at night?

Foods That Can Help You Sleep

Eating a healthy diet could offer a better night’s sleep. It’s a good idea to incorporate them into your diet to support healthy sleep, as they offer tryptophan, carbohydrates, calcium, magnesium, melatonin, and B6, all of which can promote good sleep.

Ideally, you should eat a diet that includes:

☑ Dairy products including milk, cheese, and yogurt

☑ Lean protein including fish

☑ Beans

☑ Nuts

☑ Vegetables including potatoes, tomatoes, and leafy greens

☑ Fruit including cherries and bananas

☑ Whole grains and oats

☑ Rice, breads, and pasta

Cut back on or avoid foods that can be a problem for sleep. These include food or drinks with caffeine, alcohol, heavy amounts of fat or sugar, or overly spicy foods.

Other Diet Considerations for Sleep

Avoid heavy meals at night. Going to bed with an overly full stomach is uncomfortable and can divert your body’s attention away from rest and sleep.

Be careful with acid reflux. A large meal, or one that’s particularly greasy or spicy, could lead to heartburn or acid reflux when you lie down for bed, so they’re best avoided before you go to sleep.

Steer clear of caffeine late in the day. Coffee might be helpful in the morning, but after 3 p.m., it’s off limits, as caffeine can keep you too alert to sleep.

Enjoy alcohol in moderation. Alcohol might make you feel drowsy or even help you fall asleep, but don’t be fooled. Sleep quality is lower when you’ve been drinking, as it can cause restless sleep.

Consider a snack before bed. A small snack before you head off to bed can curb hunger and offer energy for sleep at night.

Food can have an influence on how well you sleep at night, so pay attention to your diet and how you’re eating to improve your sleep quality. It’s also a good idea to address health issues affecting your sleep and practice the sleep habits that will give you the best foundation for good sleep each night.

Today’s guest post comes from Samantha Kent is a researcher for SleepHelp.org. Her favorite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face.

Portrait of Margurite Sleeping, painting by Henri Matisse / WikiArt

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March 14, 2019