You’ve probably heard before that you shouldn’t have a large meal so close to bedtime if you want to fall asleep quickly. It also accounts for how peaceful your sleep might be. Many factors are affecting the quality of your sleep, including your bedroom, the room temperature, your activities, diet, mattress, stress level, and more. In this article, we will focus on what food you should avoid getting peaceful and undisturbed sleep.
Food to Avoid for Peaceful Sleep
If you’re someone who likes to snack on chocolates before bedtime, you might want to rethink it. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, contains some caffeine in them. It might not be as strong as what you have in coffee or some teas, but it’s enough to keep making a slight difference. It also contains theobromine, which is a stimulant that can keep you more alert or awake, even more since it’s together with caffeine. If you must eat some chocolate before bed, you should opt for white chocolate because it is low on caffeine and theobromine.
Celery might be an unusual item on this list, but did you know that it is a natural diuretic? That means it promotes or increases diuresis or production of urine. If you want peaceful and undisturbed sleep, you should avoid eating celery before bedtime. With that, avoid drinking too much before bedtime, so you won’t end up waking up to pee.
It’s not just this meal you have to avoid, but spicy dishes in general. Spicy food can lead to heartburn, which in itself is a huge reason to keep you up. But aside from that, a study found that men who had some tabasco on their food had more sleeping troubles than those who ate bland food.
4. Red Meat
Red meat is very filling and might induce sleepiness. However, being high in protein and fat, digestion will take longer than usual, keeping your body work through the night. If you want to have an in-depth and peaceful sleep, it’s best when all your organ systems are in rest mode or at peace.
5. Candy bars
Orexin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate wakefulness and sleepiness. The higher it is, the more awake you’ll feel. But what does that have to do with sugar? Well, sugar can help you fall sleepy or asleep by suppressing orexin activity. However, a study found that people who eat junk food are more prone to nightmares.
If you want a peaceful night, then you should avoid candy bars and other junk food. Instead, have some food with natural sugar such as bananas, cherries, and other fruits.
Food that Promotes Peaceful Sleep
Cherries are a natural sleeping aid. They are rich in melatonin, which helps regulate the body clock or sleep-wake cycle. In a study by the American Society for Nutrition, they found that people who drank tart cherry juice had better sleep quality and duration. You can also eat the fruit as a bedtime snack or drink tart cherry juice twice – once in the morning and another in the evening.
Another thing you can snack on before bedtime is almonds. They are also abundant in tryptophan, which provides a natural calming and sleep inducing effects. It also helps counter anxiety and depression, which can be a cause of sleepless nights. So if you want to snack before bedtime, snack on these nuts or drink almond milk. Bananas, walnuts, and sesame seeds are also rich in tryptophan.
Does your mother let you drink milk before you go to bed? There’s a good reason why they let you. Like almonds, milk is rich in tryptophan. Just don’t drink it too close to bedtime. Though it has a relaxing effect that helps you fall asleep, you might be disturbed in the middle of the night by the urge to pee.
Bananas increase your energy, but this yellow fruit also encourages sleep. It promotes muscle regeneration thanks to the high contents of calcium and magnesium. Also, it contains tryptophan, serotonin, and melatonin, all of which is promoting a good night’s sleep.
Spinach is said to be an insomniac favorite. Aside from tryptophan, it is an excellent source of magnesium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. They facilitate syncretization of serotonin and melatonin. It also has glutamine, which promotes excretion of toxins and inducing sleep.
Other Tips to Promote Peaceful Sleep
In general, you want to be relaxed and calm for bedtime. Thus, it is important that you avoid stressors and stimulants. Most of the food that promotes sleep contain tryptophan which is said to provide a calming and sleep-inducing effect. Here are other tips that can help promote peaceful sleep:
- A conducive sleep environment, one that is free of noise, harsh lighting, and cold temperature, is essential for deep sleep.
- Mind your sleeping position because it can help you determine what you need on your back. For instance, a mattress topper for side sleepers can provide extra softness to a firm mattress.
- Exercise is important for overall health and promotes even better sleep by releasing good hormones.
- Yoga has a relaxing effect that helps improve sleep.
- Some teas, like valerian tea, have a relaxing effect that aid in falling asleep.
- Time your meals well. Do not have dinner too close to your bedtime. Even if you eat food that promotes sleep, wrong timing defeats the purpose.
What you eat greatly affects the quality of your sleep so be mindful of what to avoid and what to go after. In general, you want to food that are stimulants, food that may cause acid reflux and other disturbances. You should go for food that is rich in tryptophan or food that have a relaxing effect. Finally, just as what you eat is important, when you eat is also important. Time your meals and snacks well to avoid unnecessary disturbances like peeing at night.