We all know how important it is to get your 40 winks, aka 7-9 hours of good quality sleep per night. Sleeping well can improve your memory, help your brain process information, boost your metabolism and keep your digestion in check. Indians are notorious for eating late meals, and that too, replete with heavy foods that are hard to digest. We are always on the lookout for ways to enhance our sleep quality and food actually plays a pretty big role in this. Here are your best and worst foods to eat before you sleep!
We all know that thanksgiving turkey is known to be one of the sleepiest, and most delicious foods around. The reason that you may want to take a nap after bites of this big bird is because of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is found in lots of other foods as well and has been linked to influencing our sleep cycle so eating foods high in this can help you sleep better. Look to turkey, pumpkin seeds and soy beans for getting your daily dose of the sleep superhero.
Almonds and other nuts are great sources of melatonin, the sleep regulating hormone that we sometimes take supplements of when we are jet lagged. This helps manage your circadian rhythm and promotes better sleep. Apart from this, nuts are generally very healthy as they have lots of phosphorous, manganese and riboflavin topping your day off with a power packed vitamin punch.
Many of us enjoy sipping on a hot beverage before bed and if you had to pick just one drink, we would vote for chamomile tea. Not only is it delicious and super relaxing, it also has lots of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. Chamomile tea is known to contain apigenin which could potentially promote sleep. If you suffer from insomnia, perhaps try brewing a cuppa chamomile and see how you fare.
We all know that caffeine is the last thing you should drink before bed however we often forget that there are significant amounts of caffeine in things other than coffee. If you’re having some dark chocolate or a fizzy drink, these caffeine rich items may be the reason you aren’t able to fall asleep quickly. Experts suggest cutting caffeine out of your day post 5pm so that your body has time to process it and get it out of your system before bed time.
Processed foods that have a high fat content like potato chips, ice cream, French fries and other fried foods should be avoided as much as possible before you sleep. Being quite hard to digest, the fats from these foods will keep your body up way past your bed time as your digestive system breaks down all the gunk from your dinner.
We’ve all heard the saying, eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. The reason for this is that if your body is up all through the night trying to break down your last meal, it’s pretty obvious that you won’t wake up feeling completely rested. Keep your last meal of the day as light and nutritious as possible to promote better sleep. Choose things like whole grains, low-fat products, natural ingredients and smaller portions before bed to get great sleep, every night!