What to Eat and What Not to Eat for a Healthy Sleep

The temptation to indulge in junk food or desserts can sometimes become too hard to resist. We believe that we can shed those extra kilos by exercising, but instead end up eating a lot more. We might spend hours on wondering what to eat and what not to eat, but we never wonder how it also affects our sleeping patterns.

If your sleep is consistently disrupted at night,  there is a high possibility that you have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea. And one of the definite reasons behind this could be your unhealthy diet. The choices you make every day for your meals or any kind of snack you have in your diet, can impact your health in the long run.

You need to keep a check on certain things - whether you are properly following a balanced diet, or eating the right food items, and that will lead to a healthy sleep  schedule.

Eat Right and Sleep Well

If your aim is to get a sound sleep at night, you must try and add foods or drinks that contain serotonin (a serenity-boosting neurotransmitter) in your diet. Research indicates that consuming less fiber meals, more saturated fat foods, and more sugar throughout the day, leads to less restorative and unhealthy sleep.

What to Eat and What Not to Eat for a Healthy Sleep

Here are some of the essential items that you need add in your daily diet that will keep you healthy:

  1. Herbal/ Green tea: Both teas come with their own set of benefits. They are available in different flavours such as chamomile, peppermint, lemon and more. Most of these herbal teas don’t contain caffeine, but you can double check by having a look at its label. These teas are a natural remedy known to help you relax. Similarly, green tea is also caffeine free, making it a good option. 
  2. Warm milk: The best sleep remedy for an uninterrupted sleep is a glass of warm milk. Adding a pinch of turmeric to it can not only improve your quality sleep, but also relax you. If you don’t like a cup of herbal tea or green tea, you can also go with skimmed milk before sleep. So, hopefully, if you try these drinks, you might end up sleeping like a baby.
  3. Nuts, seeds, and bananas: These are not only easy to crunch healthy snacks, but are also verified to be rich in magnesium, which helps you relax. Add these to get taste and nutrients, both out of your diet. 
  4. Good quality carbohydrates: Taking some whole grain meals like pasta, brown rice and chickpeas can make a hearty dinner meal. Grouping some whole grains with your dinner is a good option, as it triggers the production of serotonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy. Keep the quantity moderate to avoid overeating. 

What Food Affects Sleep?

Now let’s take a look at some of the food items to avoid, particularly before you go to sleep:

What to Eat and What Not to Eat for a Healthy Sleep

  1. Alcohol: You might assume that having a few pegs would provide you instant sleep. On the contrary, alcohol has the ability to give you massive headaches and make you more drowsy the next day. So, think before taking a drink before bedtime.
  2. Caffeinated beverages: Caffeine affects both our physical and mental health. If you are a black coffee lover, consume soft drinks or have chocolates on a regular basis at night, your chances of getting a good sleep are grim. It interrupts your sleep and sometimes forces you to wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. 
  3. Spicy foods or foods with a large amount of saturated fat: Having heavy meals or fast food in the night can cause you indigestion problems. Spicy food contains capsaicin, (an active ingredient in chili peppers) which affects sleep via changes in body temperature. So, try to avoid it in the evening if you want to improve your quality of sleep.

So, now you have a fair idea about why a healthy diet is important for your body. Keeping a check on your body weight and ensuring a sound sleep, both are equally important. If you still feel uncomfortable at night while sleeping, you can take this sleep quiz to understand if you might have symptoms indicating a sleep disorder. If you face breathing problems while sleeping, you can take this home sleep test to check if you have sleep apnea. 

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