Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Effects of Foods in your Sleep - Eat with Caution

Taking a good night’s sleep has an enormous impact on our daily life as both physical and mental restoration take place during we sleep. Sleeping enough at night lets you to feel fresh and alert next day in the morning. Nearly 50 million Americans suffer from a sleep problem nowadays. Maybe you have also experienced insufficient sleep sometimes. There are many reasons for sleep deprivation, which force you to wake up several times in the middle of night. One of the reasons for this is foods that we eat. Some foods may give you restful sleep while other foods keep you awake at night. So, eat with caution and pick the right foods that help you to get best sleep at night. Learn about foods which to eat and which to steer clear of for getting a good night's sleep.

Effects of Foods in your Sleep - Eat with Caution

Tryptophan is a natural dietary sleep inducer so tryptophan-containing foods are best for getting a good night’s sleep. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that the body utilizes to formulate serotonin, the neurotransmitter that decelerates nerve traffic so your brain isn't so busy. Milk contains tryptophan that’s why many folk remedies say to take warm milk before going to bed. Consumption of high amount of processed foods can affect your digestive system and consequently your sleep. You should try to consume more wholesome products than processed foods. From daily intake of food, you may want to remove, decrease, or substitute the amount of fats, sugars, and preservatives. This will help you to fall asleep at night and also to improve your overall health.

Foods that affect sleep


High-fat foods like burger and chips: Researches have shown that people who frequently consume high-fat foods experience a disruption of their sleep cycles together with getting extra pounds. So, high fat foods like burger and chips should be avoided if possible for getting a good night’s sleep.

Chocolate and other caffeinated foods: Maybe you have also experienced disrupted sleep by taking an evening cup of coffee. Coffee is a good source of caffeine which can stimulate the brain and cause sleep disturbances. Chocolate, tea, cola and decaffeinated coffee are also the sources of caffeine. Tyrosine, a stimulating amino acid present in chocolate prevents the brain from relaxing.

Spicy foods: Consumption of spicy foods during a day may also cause sleep disturbances. Having a full stomach at night can make you uncomfortable as the digestive system decelerates while sleeping. However, eating spicy foods can cause heartburn or acid reflux that can disturb you in your sleep. Ensure that you have finished a heavy meal at least four hours before going to bed.

Medications: Many over-the-counter medications are good source of caffeine that interrupts sleep or can cause insomnia. Medications like pain killers, cough and cold medicines and weight loss pills contain caffeine more than a cup of coffee. So, must check the label of non-prescription medications to see about the caffeine.

Keep protein to a minimum: Though protein is an essential part of daily diet, it is a bad choice for a bedtime snack as protein-rich foods are difficult to digest. Also, they contain the amino acid tyrosine, which stimulates the brain. Avoid high-protein snack before bedtime and opt for some sleep-friendly foods.

Skip drinks: Alcohol may help you to sleep faster but it can cause dehydration and can raise your urge to urinate, particularly in the middle of night. You may have headaches, less restful sleep, nightmares and night sweats. If you want to drink alcohol in the evening, then dilute each drink with a glass of water to reduce the effects of alcohol.

Foods for Good Night's Sleep


Tryptophan-rich foods: Tryptophan-rich foods are the natural sleep inducers which have the capability to send us off to dreamland. Milk is a good source of tryptophan. Other examples of tryptophan-containing foods are bananas, poultry, oats, honey and other dairy products.

A snack before bedtime: If you are suffering from sleep deprivation, then a little food in your tummy may help you to sleep. A heavy meal can cause disturbances in your digestive system and make you uncomfortable so keep the snack small before bedtime.

Indulge your desire for Carbohydrates: Foods high in carbohydrates boost the level of sleep-inducing tryptophan in the blood. Also, carbohydrate-rich foods balance dairy foods. For good night’s sleep, few perfect late night snacks include a bowl of yoghurt and crackers, cereal and milk, or bread and cheese.

Sleep-inducing foods
  • Dairy products such as milk, cottage cheese, cheese
  • Soy products like soy milk, soybean nuts, tofu
  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Meats
  • Beans
  • Hummus
  • Whole grains
  • Lentils
  • Rice
  • Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Hazelnuts, Peanuts
  • Eggs

The best bedtime snack is one that contains both protein and complex carbohydrates, and perhaps some calcium. In the body, calcium helps the brain to utilize the tryptophan for production of melatonin. Dairy products contain both tryptophan and calcium so they are the best sleep-inducing foods. For breakfast and lunch, medium-carbohydrate meals are best for working adults and students. For dinner and bedtime snacks, consume a meal or snack that is rich in complex carbohydrates, along with a small amount of protein that includes just sufficient tryptophan to relax the brain.

Food & Drink That Affect Sleep video from Youtube:


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