A healthy eating habit and smart sleep, go hand in hand. Together, exercise, diet and sleep create the foundation for long-term health and well being. Healthy diet can enhance the quality of sleep and duration of getting a sound sleep and can actually help you eat better. In short, what and when you eat directly affect your sleep. One of the best things you can do to get better sleep is to maintain healthy weight and eat a nutritious diet. Dietary quality can impact hormonal pathways to alter sleep quantity and quality. Sleep successively affects the intake of total energy.
In today’s world, difficulty in sleeping has become a very common and yet major issue. It can affect your health by leading you to develop insulin resistance and weight gain. Both, overeating and under eating may lead to sleeping difficulty. Strict dieting can lead to sleep issues as well. Starvation level calorie restrictions may lead to an interruption in sleep and can lead to a reduction in slow sleep wave which can eventually lead to poor sleep quality and low mood. Creating a healthy eating, sleeping cycle can make a big difference to your health and well being.
Unlike sleep duration, which is clearly defined by the amount of sleep at night, sleep quality can also be defined in various ways. Quality of sleep can be characterized by the amount of slow-wave sleep and rapid eye movement sleep one gets at night. There are two stages of sleep acre with greater duration as the night progresses. Slow-wave sleep (SWS) is deep sleep and has a restorative function whereas both REM and SWS function towards memory consolidation. Research shows that the stage of sleep where inversely associated with fat and carbohydrate consumption. Our food choices affect our sleep. Like less nutritious food, such as high sugar or low fiber carbohydrate may reduce your sleep, whereas there are also foods that can help you get a good quality of sleep and may also help you get rid of poor diet poor sleep cycle. Making good food choices can be a challenge for anyone in today’s world where you get a variety of food choices.
Certain foods can make us sleepy. Ever thought why sometimes you feel sleepy after lunch? Now, this does not mean to engorge these foods and you will sleep better at night. Overeating any kind of food will harm your chances of good quality of sleep. Good quality of sleep is regulated by various chemicals, amino acids, enzymes, tryptophan, melatonin, calcium, magnesium, serotonin, histamine, antioxidants and various other nutrients. So here are some top foods that might help you sleep-
A handful of nuts is an excellent bedtime snack. Nuts are a good source of healthy monosaturated fats, fibers, antioxidants and melatonin. A handful of nuts at bedtime helps you boost serotonin levels in the brain and are also an excellent source of magnesium and tryptophan, which are the main chemical for the regulation of sleep. Consuming adequate amounts of magnesium may help improve sleep quality, especially for those who have insomnia. Almonds are an excellent source of magnesium, providing 19% of your daily needs in 1 ounce. Magnesium also reduces inflammation and decrease levels of cortisol which is known to interrupt sleep. Walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds contain the highest levels of natural sedatives.
Milk is a natural source of sleep-inducing tryptophan, calcium which boost the effect of amino acids. Hence, it is said drinking a glass of warm milk will help you fall asleep. Warm milk contains tryptophan which when released into the brain produces serotonin. Serotonin plays an important role in sleep because it is used to synthesize melatonin. Melatonin is produced at night and plays a fundamental role in regulating the body’s biological clock. In fact, melatonin governs the entire sleep/wake cycle. Hence, a glass of milk before bed can provide you with perfect soothing sleep. Combining milk with carbohydrate-rich food like oatmeal granola or toast makes it much more effective.
Fishes like Salmon, tuna, halibut, mackerel, sardines are a rich source of vitamin b6. Vitamin bi plays an important role in supporting our nervous system. vitamin b6 benefits the body by converting the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate the level of sleep hormone melatonin. vitamin b also helps to reduce anxiety in women with premenstrual syndrome and helps come to their body and induces good sleep. These fishes also contain healthy fats which helps you lower inflammation and boost your brain function and elevates your mood which plays a significant role in sound sleep. Though the sun is only the richest source of vitamin D, fishes like Salman, tuna, mackerel also contain vitamin D. Vitamin D influence sleep by regulating our circadian clock. Vitamin D affects how much sleep we get and also the quality of sleep. vitamin D deficiency is also linked to short sleep duration.
Bananas are a good source of potassium and magnesium, tryptophan and vitamin 6. Magnesium promotes sleep by working as a natural muscle relaxant. It induces sleep by assisting the functions of GABA that causes the brain to shut down at night so that you can sleep. Potassium works in synergy with magnesium. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid and also and natural sedative. Vitamin b6 helps in the synthesis of melatonin which is a sleep-inducing hormone.
A small ball of yoghurt may be just what you need to fall asleep. Yoghurt is rich source of calcium. Calcium is effective in stress reduction and stabilization of nerve fibers, including those in brain. Calcium helps brain use the amino acid tryptophan to produce the melatonin which is a sleep inducing hormone.
Poultry contains high amount of tryptophan. Tryptophan gets metabolized into serotonin and melatonin which are the main chemicals involved in induction of sleep.
Half or a cup of cottage cheese before heading to bed can make your sleep from good to better. Cottage cheese is high in protein called Casein. Casein is slow digesting protein. It releases amino acid slowly that will distribute amino acids to the muscle tissues for hours to come. This really helps improve your sleep as amino acid tryptophan naturally induces sleep in your body and helpyou get better and sound sleep.
Kiwi is a fruit loaded with vitamin c and has potent antioxidant properties which help you boost the immune system and enhance cell protection and repair. Along with these, it is also a rich source of fiber, potassium which has several benefits to your heart and respiratory system. It has also been found that kiwi have some significant benefits for your both quality and quantity of sleep. It is due to its high antioxidant properties and high serotonin level. Two kiwi fruits before going to bed help you with better sleep. No wonder why kiwi is considered in the list of superfoods.
Tart cherries have been found to have high levels of phytochemicals including melatonin. It has also been found that drinking tart Cherry juice could extend sleep by 60 to 90 minutes each night. Besides internal secretions, tart Cherry juice is additionally wealthy in procyanidins and anthocyanins. These chemicals have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help you sleep better.
a cup of non-caffeinated tea can be a perfect ritual before going to bed for a good quality of sleep. The herbs has calming effects. Many herbal teas like chamomile, valerian root, lavender are marketed as sleep aids. They have naturally calming sedative effect. Thus, night time teas can help alleviate sleep disorders such as insomnia, ensure higher quality of sleep. Chamomile tea is considered as the most well known sleepy time tea due to its calming nature. This tea is also being used to treat conditions like an anxiety, insomnia and relieve stress. Chamomile tea acts as a mild tranquilizer which is used to reduce stress on muscles and nerves.
Hummus is a dip or spreads popular in middle East and Mediterranean. It is made up of chickpeas. Chickpeas are a great source of vitamin b6, and of course, tryptophan. Vitamin b6 helps your body to convert tryptophan into serotonin which promotes the production of melatonin. Melatonin helps reset your body’s sleep clock. If your body fails to receive enough b6 on a regular basis, your sleep cycle may be disrupted. So make sure, you take 1 required amount of vitamin b6 through your diet.
Thus, what you eat will have a big influence on the quality of your sleep. You can easily sleep better by making few changes and that surely includes food that promotes rest. However, you should not consume these foods right before going to bed or else it can keep you awake due to increase blood flow to the gastrointestinal system. Hence, it is recommended to consume these foods 1 to 2 hour prior to sleep.
Almost everyone is aware of the value that eating a certain food is instrumental in our lives. But sometimes healthy food does not seem that help when it comes to sleep. Food that you eat for dinner or shortly before bed can prevent you from getting sound sleep. There are a variety of foods and drinks that promote sleep, also there are foods that may sabotage your sleep.Also eating a heavy meal right before going to bed may slow down the process of digestion and that food is going to be stored instead of used as energy. It may also lead to a various condition like heartburn, acid reflux. So by knowing which food can interrupt your sleep cycle and be mindful of what you consume during dinner, it will be easier to fall asleep and get sound sleep that you need. Thus, here are foods that can disrupt your sleep cycle and can keep you awake at night.
Heavy foods may be high in protein or fat, both of which required more time for digestion, especially when consumed in large amount. Eating heavy meal right before going to bed main cause sleeplessness. The human body requires two and a half to four hours to completely break down the food. If you eat a heavy meal right before going to bed, your body spends energy breaking down the food rather than allowing your brain to enter vital sleep cycle. So, avoid heavy meals before going to sleep. Also, heavy meals right before bed can lead to heartburn which can disrupt the sleeping process.
There is no doubt that the spicy foods are super delicious and the spices in it may have several health benefits. But having spicy food too close to going to bed can be a very bad idea. Spicy food can cause an acidic, heated condition in the body and can keep us awake all night. Spicy food contains items like chillies and mustard in large proportion, that are known to raise your body temperature and make you feel restless during sleep. Spicy food is also known to cause irritation in the upper digestive tract. It can also lead to conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and can also worsen the symptoms of GERD. Also capsaicin in spicy food affects sleep via changes in body temperature.
Caffeine is a strong stimulant. The effect of caffeine on sleep depends not only on the amount of caffeine taken before going to sleep but also on the amount of caffeine consumed over the entire day. There is a strong link between the amount of caffeine taken on a daily basis, reduced sleep quality and increased daytime sleepiness. The most common effect of caffeine on sleep is prolonged sleep latency, shortest sleep time, decreased sleep quality, decrease in deep sleep time and more frequent awakenings. REM sleep is less affected. Effect of caffeine is different for different age group and it depends on varieties of factors like age, regular caffeine intake, caffeine sensitivity. So, try avoiding caffeinated drinks, especially before bedtime. Instead, swap these beverages with healthy dessert or some non-caffeinated drinks like herbal teas.
Tomatoes are rich in tyramine. Tyra mind is an amino acid that triggers the brain to release norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter which plays an important role in the sleep-wake cycle. Norepinephrine increases the blood flow in the brain which stimulates the brain activity which in exchange delay your ability to fall asleep. Also, the acid content in tomatoes can lead to heartburn especially in those who have already been suffering from acid reflux, which can interrupt your sleep.
While alcohol is thought to hurry the onset of sleep, it conjointly disrupts sleep especially inflicting arousal-through outlast half of the night, once the body ought to be getting into a deep sleep. Daily consumption of alcohol can affect the quality of your sleep, thus affecting your sleep cycle making you feel irritated and drowsy all day long. Drinking alcohol before bed may feel relaxing and help you fall asleep but it causes frequent awakenings at night and also reduces REM sleep. Lack of REM sleep may harm your concentration, memory and motor skills. Alcohol consumption can also induce sleep disorders by disrupting the sequence and duration of sleep states and by altering total sleep time as well as the time required to fall asleep.
Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, pineapple, lemon, limes, clementines contain highest levels of citric acid, ascorbic acid and vitamin c. But having these fruits right before or too close to bedtime is definitely not a wise decision, as they can affect your sleep in a negative way. Due to the high acidic content of citrus fruits, it can cause acid reflux and burning feelings in and around the chest area and upper part of the throat. And when you lie down for sleep after having them, the acids have an even easier way up the food pipe so the chances increase even more. Also, these fruits have high fructose in them. This can lead to an increase in blood pressure. It triggers your body to become more active. So if you want to have a sound sleep try avoiding citrus fruits at night or near bedtime.
Dark chocolate contains theobromine, which is found in cocoa plant seed. Much like caffeine, theobromine is a diuretic, which mainly affects as a smooth muscle relaxant and cardiac stimulant, which increases heart rate and causes sleeplessness. also chocolate contain loads of added sugar that negatively impact the quality of your sleep. So avoid these nap-inducing energy dips and try to keep your blood sugar level steady, which will help you stick to a normal sleep schedule. Dark chocolate also contains caffeine, if eaten late enough, might leave you counting the stars at night. So, avoid eating chocolate especially dark chocolate before bedtime. Instead, you can have a white chocolate as it does not contain any theobromine and little if any caffeine.
Broccoli and cauliflower
cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower contain tryptophan which induces sleep, vitamins and a large amount of insoluble fiber, which state huge amount of time to digest. Eating too much of the insoluble dietary fiber can cause bloating and excess production of gas. It can cause digestion to slow down and sleep which can make you restless. Thus, hampering the quality of your sleep. if you eat these vegetables before bed, your body will still be working on breaking it down which can prevent you from getting sound sleep.
High sugar cereals
Cereals are the food of choice for most of the people when hungry at late night, which is quite a healthy snack. Cereals are high in protein and fibers, but adding sugar in it can worsen the situation. Sugar acts on the neurons in the brain that regulate wakefulness and protein amps them up. Consuming diet which is high in protein and fiber can increase the activity of orexin neurons, located in hypothalamus which in turn increases wakefulness and bodily activity. Orexin is a neuropeptide that regulates arousal, wakefulness and appetite. Orexin also stimulate hunger which can further lead to binge eating. Also, the sugar can trigger the overproduction of insulin at night which in turn make you feel like starving in the morning. So try having non-fat, high fiber cereal instead.
Cheeseburgers and french fries
Flight food and junk food like a cheeseburger and french fries are high in fat and calories. Fat triggers the process of digestion and causes excessive production of gastric acids which can lead to heartburn to wish negatively influence the quality of your sleep. Also fat is tough for the digestive system to break down. Eating food that is high in fat causes the body to spend more time working on breaking it down, rather than focusing on sleeping. Also, high fat diet put a negative impact on the production of orexin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep/wake cycle along with melatonin. So, if you find yourself hungry before bed, prefer food that contains tryptophan and calcium such as cheese or peanut butter on toast rather than fried and junk food.If you had to bed right after eating these junks, your digestion is going too slow and that food is going to be stored instead of used as energy. The result can be highly uncomfortable and keep you awake.
Heavily processed food are often high in sugar, fat, empty calories, artificial colors, flavors and other chemical additives. The sugar in the processed food can have divas stating effects on metabolism, digestive issues and insulin resistance. The higher the blood sugar, the more insulin is secreted that cause is weakness, hunger, carb cravings and increase appetite, all of which negatively effective sleep/wake pattern. Eating sweet at night can cause a surge of adrenaline, that prevents the natural pattern of serotonin and often impacts sleeping pattern.
If you are following the above-mentioned tips and tricks and yet unable to get good sleep at night it could be due to some other underlying reasons like stress, anxiety, depression. In a condition like this, always seek help from your physician.