Foods To Eat And Avoid For Good Sleep
Time and again I have stressed that ‘food is thy medicine’. You can treat many ailments by including or excluding certain foods from your diet. Visiting the doc is the best thing to do and even he will advise you to make changes in your diet so that you get well soon. Talking about sleep, I see people popping in sleeping pills that too without consulting the doctor. Yes, sleep is the base of a healthy life but you shouldn’t be playing with your health. This post aims at listing foods that you should be including and avoiding for sound sleep.
Foods to include
Let us begin with the list of foods that you should be including if you have trouble falling asleep.
Cherries fall in the category of foods that have melatonin in them. Melatonin is a chemical that controls the internal clock of the body. In a study it was found that drinking cherry juice resulted in improvement in the duration of sleep and sleep quality of adults who had chronic insomnia. It is not difficult to pop in a few cherries to promote sleep :).
A warm cup of milk must remind you of your childhood when your mom or grandmom used to bring a cup of warm milk just before bed time to make you sleep well. Milk is effective in helping you fall asleep as it has tryptophan which is an amino acid. It is a precursor to serotonin, the brain chemical. Research is not clear in this regard but it is believed that tryptophan and serotonin help a person fall asleep.
Bananas contain magnesium and potassium that are muscle relaxants. Thus, they promote sleep. Bananas are not just for sleep, they are good for overall health too. Potassium is needed for heart health and cognitive functioning.
Sweet potatoes work like magic on sleep. They provide complex carbs that are sleep promoting. They also have potassium to offer which is a muscle relaxant. You can have them boiled or baked. The low carb dieters should give this a miss.
Foods to exclude
Now let us focus on the foods that should be excluded for sound sleep.
Now this is bad news for chicken lovers. But don’t worry you just need to avoid it at night. The thing is that protein of any kind is not advisable at night. While sleeping digestion slows down by 50% and if you happen to eat lots of protein you will digest even more slowly. Instead of the focus being on sleeping, the focus will be on digesting. Add carbs to the protein and this way you can shift the balance towards sleep.
Coffee has caffeine in it and too much caffeine will keep you awake at night. It is better to skip the cuppa at the end of the day if you have been suffering with sleeplessness.
You should not be having aerated beverages if you want a good night’s sleep. Colas and other soft drinks increase acid reflux and affect your sleep. Just stay away from aerated beverages.
Energy drinks have caffeine and that is the culprit. The amount of caffeine in such drinks is equivalent to an expresso coffee!! And you know how bad coffee can be for your sleep. So say bye-bye to energy drinks!
Chocolate too has caffeine, especially dark chocolate. Along with caffeine it has a stimulant called theobromine that can increase sleeplessness and heart rate. Chocoholics may find this tough but just try having your chocolate at the start of the day 😉
Alcohol is the worst thing when you are already suffering from sleeplessness. Even wine is not advisable. You might sleep off but your chances of waking up in the night increases as alcohol metabolizes in the system quickly. It affects the quality of sleep too.
So, now you know what is good for your sleep and what is not!
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