Tick, tock, tick, tock, you hear the clock ticking, and you want to throw it outside the window because it’s late and you cannot sleep. But it’s not the clock’s fault, it only tells you it’s past midnight, and you cannot get into that zizz state you crave for. It seems that you’re frustrated again because even if you are tired, you cannot sleep, and you cannot stop but wonder why is this happening to you?
What if we tell you that whether or not you sleep at night depends on what you do during the day, and especially on what you eat? The combination of foods and drinks you fuel your body with is incredible; it can keep you awake at night or make you sleep like a baby. Research shows that eating less fiber, more saturated fat, and more sugar during the day leads to less restorative and deep sleep. Oops! This is exactly what you’ve been doing for months.
Below, we explore what and how you should eat and drink to improve sleep at night.
What you eat influences your sleep
There’s a close connection between sleep and how you metabolize food. Your food choices can regulate your circadian rhythm that keeps your body clock running on schedule. So, when you change your diet, shift your eating pattern, and experiment with food, you reprogram your circadian rhythm and alter your body clock. So, you encourage a poor sleep pattern through your eating habits.
What you eat and when you do it influences your sleep. When you make good dietary choices, you optimize your circadian rhythm. What’s the best bet when choosing foods to encourage quality sleep? Eat healthy, don’t skip meals, and don’t experiment too much with your diets.
Here are some other tips that should help you sleep better at night.
Caffeine intake can keep you alert
A cup of coffee is great in the morning because caffeine blocks the production of chemicals that tell your body to get to sleep and boosts adrenaline levels. You love to be alert in the morning because you have so many things to do, but when you sip a cup of coffee after lunch, you prolong caffeine effects until late at night.
Dieticians state that different bodies respond differently to caffeine stimulants. Your friends may sleep like a baby after they drink two sodas at dinner, but you may stay awake at night because of the coffee you drank in the morning.
Caffeine stays in your bloodstream 6 hours after you consume it, so you should not drink coffee in the afternoon and evening.
Spicy and fatty foods prevent your body from drifting off
Do you like Buffalo wings? Then eat them during the daytime because if you save them for dinner, your stomach won’t digest them properly and will keep you awake at night. Fatty or spicy foods are tougher for your stomach and harder to digest, so your body will find it difficult to relax and drift off into a deep sleep stage.
Don’t stuff yourself with snacks
Don’t skip your dinner, trying to lose weight. A growling stomach can keep you awake at night. However, an overstuffed one does the same. Eat a small meal before sleep so you won’t have an upset stomach later.
It isn’t very easy to study all foods to identify the effects they have on sleep, but some preliminary research shows that bananas and berries contain serotonin and melatonin that encourage sleep. Research also concludes that people dealing with insomnia should also drink tart cherry juice because it’s rich in inflammatory cytokines and melatonin that improve sleep patterns.
So, you should better have a light dinner and stay away from snacks. They may have fewer calories, but they may stuff your stomach and cause insomnia, so it’s better to opt for a balanced diet.
However, you shouldn’t blame your diet entirely for your lack of zzz’s, since your sleeping environment may also influence it. Replace your old mattress with the best mattress of 2020, made from higher-quality materials and the right amount of comfort and support you need to sleep soundly. Also, change your curtains with ones made from a thick fabric that blocks out light. And use a room humidifier to improve air quality.
Sugar boosts your energy levels
Cutting sugar from your diet helps you improve your overall health. And eating fewer sweets allows your body to relax and get into a more calm state that promotes sleep. A high quantity of sugar in your diet directly impacts blood sugar and energy levels.
The bad part is that sugar spikes your energy levels the moment you ingest it, and it also crashes them fast, so you’ll go from extra energy to low battery in a couple of hours. Lack of energy makes you reach for an extra cup of coffee and here we go again, you sleep poorly at night.
By limiting your sugar levels and adopting a healthy diet, you can catch quality sleep at night and feel fresh in the morning. Who knows, maybe you even skip coffee before hitting the office?
And don’t forget to hydrate yourself because lack of water dries your nasal passages and mouth and makes you snore at night. But, don’t chug the bottle of water before bed because you may wake up a few times to go to the bathroom.