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Saturday, 21 July 2012

Foods that Help or Harm Your Sleep

What You Eat Affects How You Sleep

 



If you knew the right foods to help you get the best sleep possible, wouldn't you surely have them? And if you knew which foods would hinder your restful slumber, wouldn't you avoid them? Now's your chance to learn which foods to eat, and which to stay away from for a good night's sleep.

Reach for Tryptophan-Rich Foods

 

 

We've all heard of warm milk's magical ability to send us off to dreamland. Do you know why it's true? Dairy foods contain tryptophan, which is a sleep-promoting substance. Other foods that are high in tryptophan include nuts and seeds, bananas, honey, and eggs.

Indulge Your Craving for Carbs


Carbohydrate-rich foods complement dairy foods by increasing the level of sleep-inducing tryptophan in the blood. So a few perfect late night snacks to get you snoozing might include a bowl of cereal and milk, milk and crackers, or  a cheese sandwich etc.

Have a Snack Before Bedtime

 



If you struggle with insomnia, a little food in your stomach may help you sleep. But don't use this as an open invitation to pig out. Keep the snack small. A heavy meal will tax your digestive system, making you uncomfortable and unable to get soothing sleep.

Put Down the Burger and Fries!

 

As if you needed another reason to avoid high-fat foods, research shows that people who often eat high-fat foods not only gain weight, they also experience a disruption of their sleep cycles. A heavy meal activates digestion, which can lead to nighttime trips to the bathroom.

Beware of Hidden Caffeine


It's no surprise that an evening cup of coffee might disrupt your sleep. Even moderate caffeine can cause sleep disturbances. But don't forget about less obvious caffeine sources, like chocolate, cola, tea, and decaffeinated coffee. For better sleep, cut all caffeine from your diet four to six hours before bedtime.

Medications May Contain Caffeine

 

 

Some over-the-counter and prescription drugs contain caffeine too, such as pain relievers, weight loss pills, diuretics, and cold medicines. These and other medications may have as much or even more caffeine than a cup of coffee. Check the label of nonprescription drugs or the prescription drug information sheet to see if your medicine interferes with sleep or can cause insomnia.

Skip the Alcohol before bedtime

Alcohol may help you fall asleep faster, but you may experience frequent awakenings, less restful sleep, headaches, night sweats and nightmares. If you're consuming alcohol in the evening, balance each drink with a glass a water to dilute the alcohol's effects. For a good night's sleep, the better bet is to avoid alcohol four to six hours before bedtime.

Beware of Heavy, Spicy Foods

 

Lying down with a full belly can make you uncomfortable, since the digestive system slows down when you sleep. It can also lead to heartburn, as can spicy cuisine. Make sure to finish a heavy meal at least four hours before bedtime.

Keep Protein to a Minimum at Bedtime






 Protein, an essential part of our daytime fare, is a poor choice for a bedtime snack. Protein-rich foods are harder to digest. So skip the high-protein snack before bedtime and opt for a glass of warm milk or some sleep-friendly carbs, like crackers.

Cut the Fluids by 8 P.M.

 

Yes, staying hydrated throughout the day is great for your body, but curtail your fluid intake before bed. You're sure to have interrupted sleep if you're constantly getting up to go to the bathroom.

Don't Be Fooled by a Relaxing Smoke


Nicotine is a stimulant, with effects similar to caffeine. Avoid smoking before bedtime or if you wake up in the middle of the night.

 Conclusion: Sleep is a must! If suffering from lack of it, find out the cause and correct it soon. Remember! Lack of sleep affects the heart...So act now and protect it......

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