Sleep is extremely important to every human being. Getting enough and healthy sleep is associated with a wide array of health benefits. Quality sleep enhances informed thinking, emotional well-being among others.
This is a clear indication of the negative consequences that are deemed to occur if one does not get quality sleep. Inadequate and low quality sleep can spark an increased appetite resulting in unhealthy weight gain. Further, it can undermine the immune system.
What defines a good night’s sleep? Quality sleep is dictated by parameters such as the type of food you eat and the time you eat before falling asleep. This article, therefore, aims to educate readers on issues to look into before sleeping.
Suitable Foods To Eat Before Sleeping
Sleep is a process. One must prepare well in order to sleep successfully. The process demands to take into consideration the types of food to eat. There are many foods which are very nutritional but it is not possible to fully exhaust them her.
Nonetheless, it is important to mention some of these foods. Examples of what you can eat before sleeping are eggs, milk, turkey meat, whole grains (bread, pasta, rice) soy beans, cherries, pumpkin seeds, foods rich in magnesium (avocado, dark leafy greens).
Below is a detailed explanation of some of the above-mentioned foods
Perhaps some people associate milk with young children since it contributes to their healthy growth and development. Well, milk is important for both children and adults. Milk is a source of tryptophan which an amino acid. Tryptophan is responsible for secreting serotonin which is a brain chemical that promotes sleep.
2. Fortified cereal
Generally, Garbs promote sleep but it depends on what you eat. Of course eating cookies or biscuits a few hours to or just before sleeping is not healthy as these are “bad’ carbs. On the other hand, cereal contains “good” carbs (complex carbs) hence a good choice. Cereal can also be eaten with milk which is also a suitable food before bedtime.
What is that one amazing thing about cherries? Cherries are in the category of the few natural foods which are gifted with melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced in the body which is believed to stimulate sleep. Based on the views of diet experts, taking blended cherry juice can lead to an increase in both the quality and duration of sleep in individuals struggling with chronic insomnia.
Foods To Keep Off Before Sleeping
There are many types of foods that do not augur well with most people as the body transitions to the world of sleep. They should be consumed in relatively small portions during the day so as not to interfere with one’s sleep. This article pays attention to high-fat food, caffeinated foods/beverages, and alcohol.
1. High-fat foods
High-fat foods such as ice cream, French fries and other types of fried foods top the list of what to avoid eating before sleeping. Since these foods contain a high amount of fat, they can trigger restlessness in the course of your sleep. Fat, which takes relatively more amount of time to digest, forces the body to remain awake. When this happens, one might keep tossing from one side of the bed to the other in search of sleep.
2. Foods or beverages containing caffeine
It is not possible to avoid taking coffee, tea or energy drinks. Neither is it possible to refrain from eating a bar of chocolate once in a while. However, it is possible to limit the intake of these drinks/foods especially when your bedtime is due. All these are sources of caffeine which may interfere with your sleep. According to health professionals, individuals should limit their daily intake of caffeine to 300mg. The health professionals further assert the need to drink caffeinated beverages several hours prior to sleeping.
There is a popular belief that one or two glasses of wine are good for proper digestion of food. Many people thus drink wine after eating believing that it will aid in digestion. Even so, from a health point of view, wine can interfere with your sleep. It is recommended that individuals should only take one glass of wine if they desire to enjoy a good sleep.
Striking A Balance Between Eating and Sleeping Time
Is falling asleep before eating a good idea? Going to bed on an empty stomach results in several outcomes. The immediate outcome is less sleep because of hunger pangs. Less sleep, in turn, lowers metabolism. This could stimulate overfeeding leading to weight problems. In the long run, the immune system becomes weak. On the other hand, eating and immediately going to bed thereafter is not good as well.
So when should you eat? Eating several hours before bedtime is important to allow for digestion of food. But this is a challenge in most cases. There is a tendency by some people to feel sleepy and eventually fall asleep right after eating. So let’s discuss how to avoid falling asleep after eating.
1. Strive to be active
Credible studies suggest that the time needed between eating and going to bed is approximately one and half hours. Upon eating, do not just sit on the couch and do nothing at all You can engage in a few chores to avoid falling asleep. Performing chores such as washing dishes, preparing your outfit for the next day or reading a book can prevent one from falling asleep after eating.
2. Eat small portions of food frequently
Dinner time should not be interpreted as the time to eat large meals. Eating small food portions throughout the day ensures the body does not work too much to digest large portions of food. This prevents the urge to sleep after eating.
3. Eat healthy foods
Strive to eat foods rich in proteins and complex carbohydrates. However, when eating dinner, the foods should be relatively low in proteins. Appropriate portions of foods such as whole wheat bread, pasta, eggs, avocados, lean meat, vegetables-lettuce, and broccoli are suitable.
In winding up, choosing what to eat and what to keep off before bedtime does not translate to starving oneself or sleeping on an empty stomach. In essence, it is about making the right choices with respect to what you eat. The main aim should be to pay attention to foods that promise quality. As already mentioned, foods such as milk and eggs are endowed with tryptophan which guarantees quality sleep.