For a more peaceful sleep, reach for yogurt, soy, banana, or nuts, and if you are suffering from insomnia, avoid alcohol and caffeine two hours before going to sleep.
Today’s pace of life, increased working hours, stress, and other “blessings” of the contemporary life, have been increasingly causing sleep disorders or insomnia, to be exact, for a great number of people. Insomnia significantly decreases the quality of life, making us nervous and less capable to work and perform our daily activities. The good news is that the certain decisions about the way we eat can have a significant impact on the quality of sleep.
Nibble on crackers before going to sleep
It is thought that the complex carbohydrates, because of their ability to raise the serotonin levels, neurotransmitters that encourages sleep, have a mild, soporific effect. This is why it is recommended to include nutrients, such as integral bread, crackers, or whole-wheat cereal in the last meal of the day. The effect of lull would be even better if complex carbohydrates are combined with foods rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that participates in the production of serotonin.
Serotonin, among other things, helps the body to regulate sleep, and its low levels in the body are related to insomnia. Therefore, for a more peaceful sleep, it is recommended to reach for rich sources of tryptophan, such as turkey meat, tuna, yogurt, soy, banana, or nuts.
This combination will, besides providing the “soporific” complex carbohydrates and an amino acid called tryptophan, also provide the vitamin B complex, as well as potassium and magnesium, which play an important role in the relaxation of the tired psyche and muscles, thus enabling us to achieve the state of deep sleep more easily.
Olives and chocolate tend to awake us.
If you are suffering from insomnia, you can help yourself by excluding mature cheeses, such as camembert, parmesan, and Roquefort, liver, dried, salted, smoked, or canned fish, sausages, dry meat, sauerkraut, pickles, olives, chocolate, and spinach from the last meal of the day. The above-mentioned foods contain tyramine, a molecule which encourages the release of norepinephrine, a cerebral stimulant that keeps us awake.
Beverages and foods that contain caffeine do not belong in the evening hours, because of their stimulant properties. The same goes for alcohol, which, although it can shorten the time it takes you to fall asleep because of its intoxicating properties, has been proven to contribute to the bad quality of sleep while increasing the possibility of awakening in the middle of a dream.
Spicy, sweet, or fatty foods can cause gastrointestinal disorders, such as acid reflux disease or heartburn, especially at night, when the digestive system slows down. Therefore, it is best to avoid “heavy” foods and large portions before going to bed.
The closer you get to go to sleep, the more you should avoid the intake of water, tea, and other liquids because the quality of your sleep could be interrupted by the need urinate during the night.
Food directives for persons suffering from insomnia:
Fish, turkey, whole-wheat cereal, mushrooms, green leafy vegetables, bananas, sunflower seeds, and nuts contain nutrients that can help your body to fight stress. It is, therefore, advisable to include them in your diet.
Avoid the evening intake of the products that contain caffeine and other stimulants
Reduce the intake of foods rich in sugar. A sudden increase of the sugar levels in the blood can create the feeling of “being awake”, whereas a sudden fall of sugar levels in your blood can wake you up in the middle of the night.
Limit your daily alcohol intake and try not to drink it at least two hours before going to sleep.
Dinner should be a light and an easily digestible meal that contains complex carbohydrates and fewer foods that are the source of protein and tryptophan, at the same time.
Avoid consuming spicy foods late at night.
Foods that bloat you (legumes, pulses, and borecole) should be eaten during the first part of the day.
Eat slowly and chew well.
Avoid the nightly visits to the fridge.
Make sure that your liquid intake is moderate before going to sleep.