There are 4 ways in which your eating habits can affect your sleep both negatively and positively:
1. EATING AND DRINKING HOURS BEFORE YOU SLEEP
Did you know that our digestive system rests between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. as a part of our natural biorhythm? Eating during this time reduces the effectiveness of digestion, which can lead to digestion problems. A large meal right before bed not only makes your digestive organs work overtime, but the other parts of our body also need to be active in order to digest properly.
2. DRINKING CAFFEINE AND ALCOHOL
Caffeine has a negative affect on sleep. Avoid caffeine (found in coffee, tea, chocolate, soda, and some pain relievers) for 4 to 6 hours before bedtime to ensure a better night's rest!
Alcohol results in poor sleep as well. While alcohol may make you fall asleep faster, it reduces REM sleep in the long-term, creating for a more restless night of sleep. If you’re lacking efficient sleep, try to stay away from alcoholic drinks up to 3 hours before bedtime.
3. EATING SNACKS THAT PROMOTE SLEEP
It is particularly important to watch what you put in your body in the hours leading up to bedtime. Some bedtime snacks will actually help promote sleep. The natural sedative, tryptophan, is an amino acid component that is a necessary ingredient for the body to make serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that makes us feel sleepy.
Here are some foods that will help you get more efficient sleep:
- Whole-grain bread
- Dark chocolate
4. EATING FOODS THAT KEEP YOU TOSSING AND TURNING
Alternatively, there are foods that you should avoid before bedtime. Here are some foods you should stay away from late at night:
- Aged Cheese
- Processed or Smoked Meats
- Spicy Foods
- Tomato-Based Sauces
Don’t underestimate the power of efficient sleep. Make sure you take the correct steps towards getting your body some much-needed rest!If you find yourself having difficulty getting to sleep or you aren't feeling refreshed in the morning, try making changes to your diet and get rid of the foods and drinks that will keep you up at night.