Discover the connection between diet and sleep quality. Learn the importance of what you put in your body and its effect on sleep.
Sleep quality depends on more factors than the number of hours we actually get while sleeping. Eating habits are extremely crucial in determining the quality of sleep. Discover the correlation between what you eat and its effects on nutrition and, in turn, your sleep.
The Connection Between Sleep & Nutrition
Have you ever had a “bad night’s sleep” and woke up feeling the effects the next day? You may feel it is harder to concentrate or experience excess hunger, but overall, your body does not feel quite right. Imagine what the effect on your body could be for years’ worth of “bad night’s sleep.”
Poor sleeping habits over the years can increase the risk of serious chronic health problems. Nutrition is the direct link to influencing the body’s natural processes, like sleep. Intaking the proper nutrition at the right times over the course of a day helps produce the neurotransmitters needed for healthy sleep.
You can follow the general healthy eating guidelines to ensure you eat the correct food for a good night’s sleep.
Tips on Eating for The Best Sleep
1. Monitor Caffeine Intake
As most of us know, caffeine is a stimulant we can take to help our bodies fight against sleep. Most may think you shouldn’t drink this coffee right before bed, or you can just have one more espresso shot on a tough day without affecting the quality of nighttime sleep. However, caffeine can stay in the body for at least five hours after intake. Caffeine should be moderately consumed and limited in the afternoon and evening to guarantee no effect on sleep.
2. Moderate Alcohol Consumption
Some may think that alcohol does not affect the quality of sleep due to its drowsing effect after consumption. The hard knockout is exactly the problem. The quick deep sleep interrupts the correct sleep pattern for a healthy night of sleep. You are encouraged to drink in moderation and not too close to bedtime.
3. Snacks Before Bed
It is important to eat your heavier meals hours before bedtime to give your body enough time to digest the food. Digestion slows once your body relaxes for sleep, leaving the chance of being woken up to digestion issues. However, you should not go to sleep hungry, as this affects sleep as well. Hunger is a known factor in keeping you awake. Eat a quick light snack at bedtime if hunger persists so growling or other hunger symptoms do not interrupt your rest.
4. Stay Consistent
Circadian Rhythm is your body’s natural clock. Not only is your natural sleep schedule based on this but it is also affected by your diet. Keeping a consistent routine of eating close to the same time each day and eating a healthy balance of nutrients will create a healthy, natural body rhythm.
What Food Items to Eat & Not Eat for Healthy Sleep
As mentioned earlier in the article, eating the correct food for a good night’s sleep can be achieved by following the general healthy eating guidelines. However, there are some key things to avoid and add to your diet to ensure a healthy night of sleep.
In addition to moderating caffeine and alcohol intake, you should avoid high-protein, fatty, and spicy foods before bedtime to prevent discomfort and sleep disruption. As mentioned above, digestion naturally slows down when you sleep.
Healthy eating habits encourage a healthier sleeping pattern. Consuming a diet with foods high in melatonin, tryptophan, and magnesium improves sleep quality. These include foods like eggs, fish, chicken, spinach, and so much more.
If you or a loved one find yourself in a medical emergency due to a lack of food intake or consumption of the wrong food item, our facility is open 24/7 to alleviate your symptoms and get you back to feeling normal. Come on into East Valley ER & Hospital for expert emergency room services featuring adult and pediatric care without the wait.
Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, East Valley ER & Hospital and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.