Do you know that there’s a big connection between your sleep and nutrition?
Foods aren’t only essential to your body’s health and vital to your bedtime health. You always want to have a peaceful night’s rest, and who doesn’t? Read on to find out how what you eat and drink affects your sleep.
Food & Sleep: What’s the connection?
The food you eat as breakfast and lunch has a huge impact on your sleep during the night. A balanced, nutritious, and healthy food contributes to a peaceful and sound night’s rest. A poor diet can lead to a poor night’s rest.
Eating the right food can promote a more efficient and healthier sleep. The right diet can affect how fast you fall asleep. It also contributes to a more therapeutic deep sleep.
Here is how some foods affect your sleep health
Carbohydrates cause Sleepiness
Carbohydrates don’t just exhaust you out, but they’re also helpful for sleep. Carbs make tryptophan available to your brain, so if you want to have a good night’s sleep, take some snacks that contain carbohydrates and proteins (also contain tryptophan) as dinner.
The carbohydrate you take should consist largely of high-fiber and wholesome grains, vegetables, and fruits. Avoid too much sugar as it causes excessive daytime drowsiness. On the other hand, Fibers enhance sleep health without inducing daytime sleepiness.
Caffeine Keeps you Awake.
While Carbohydrates improve sleep, caffeine keeps you awake by blocking the hormones that regulate sleep. If you want to ward off sleep, consider taking a small amount of coffee throughout the day. It’s good to stay away from drinking many cups of coffee in the morning.
However, caffeine should be avoided close to bedtime due to its stimulating effects, as it can make it hard for you to fall asleep on time. Instead, end your coffee intake 6 to 7 hours before your normal bedtime; this ensures its effects are warded off when you’re ready to sleep.
Alcohol Induces a Poor Quality Sleep
Have you ever wondered why you feel tired the next day after consuming alcohol at night? It prevents the body from entering the deepest sleep phase, the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage.
Alcohol is regarded as a CNS depressant that slows down brain activities. Despite having sedative effects that actively induce Sleepiness and relaxation, too much intake of alcohol has been linked to poor quality sleep. Insomnia has been recorded as one of the common signs of alcohol use disorder.
Consuming alcohol before going to sleep can cause nightmares, severe headaches, sweating, and awakening. Therefore, it’s advisable to take your last cup of alcohol several hours before your normal bedtime.
Melatonin Supplements have effects on Your Sleep.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by our pineal gland to control the sleep-wake cycles. According to the CDC, melatonin supplements are produced in laboratories, and they are becoming more popular day by day, with more than 3 million Americans using them.
The melatonin produced by your body doesn’t induce sleep; rather, it induces a state of wakefulness that stimulates sleep. On the other hand, melatonin supplements effectively shorten the time needed to fall into slumber in people suffering from delayed sleep phase disorder. It also promotes sleep in individuals that are blind.
However, the supplement is ineffective in individuals with work shift disorder and those experiencing withdrawal symptoms of benzodiazepines.
White Rice Improves Sleep Quality
White rice is a milled grain taken as a staple in many countries. Despite being low on nutrients and antioxidants due to removing its bran and husk, white rice still has a reasonable amount of minerals and vitamins.
White rice is very high in carbohydrates and low in fibers, thereby having a high glycemic index (GI). Studies have shown that taking food with a high glycemic index shortly before bed promotes better sleep quality and duration. However, these foods can increase blood sugar quickly.
Though white rice improves sleep quality and duration, it’s advisable to take it in moderate amounts due to its high Glycemic index, which increases blood sugar levels quickly.
Dark Chocolates can Disrupt your Sleep.
Dark chocolates contain a lot of nutrients that positively impact your health.
Studies have shown that dark chocolates are a great source of antioxidants. They improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, improve brain function and protect your skin from harmful sun rays.
However, chocolates contain a high amount of caffeine, making falling asleep hard and preventing you from getting to the REM stage. It would be best to feel okay with the next day’s schedule.
Taking dark chocolates at night will make your body start processing the high amount of sugar, fat, and caffeine when it’s supposed to be getting into the rest and digest phase.
Theobromine is an alkaloid found in raw cocoa. It is also found in traces amount in dark chocolates; it causes Sleepiness and increases the heartbeat rate. However, most milk chocolates don’t contain caffeine and theobromine.
Consuming Fatty Fish Will Make you Sleep More Soundly
Fatty fish such as herring, salmon, mackerel, tuna, and trout are the healthiest yet tastiest seafood. They’re very rich in vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids that help lower the risk of heart disease and inflammation.
The presence of these two nutrients stimulates the production of serotonin, which will enhance sleep quality and duration. Taking fatty fish before sleeping can help you sleep faster and deeper.
Having a sound night’s rest is vital for your health and wellbeing.
Most of your foods affect your sleep because they’re rich in nutrients that stimulate the production of brain chemicals and hormones such as serotonin and melatonin that enhance sleep.
However, some foods high in caffeine, saturated fats, and other compounds can affect your sleep.
For best results, consume food 2 to 3 hours before going to bed; this ensures the effect of sleep-enhancing food has started taking place or the effect of sleep-disrupting food has started to ward off.