How food and drink affect your sleep
What you eat and drink before bed can affect your sleep. For example, foods containing the amino acid tryptophan—a building block of the sleep-related chemical serotonin—could potentially make you drowsy, although evidence is mixed as to whether the amount in food is enough to change your sleep. Turkey is a well-known tryptophan source (and notorious cause of the post-Thanksgiving nap), but turkey is not unique. Other foods such as eggs, chicken, fish, and nuts contain roughly equal amounts of tryptophan. Carbohydrates make tryptophan more available to the brain, so if you're eating a light snack before bed, you might try something like a few whole wheat crackers with a small amount of peanut butter, or cereal with milk. On the other hand, foods that tax or upset your stomach, such as fatty, fried, or spicy foods, are best avoided before sleep. More ►
Alcohol might make you drowsy and help you fall asleep, but it can actually make it harder to sleep deeply and continuously throughout the night and should be avoided in the hours before bed. As you know, caffeine is a stimulant and it's effect on the body lasts many hours, so it is best not to consume it after the mid-afternoon.
Food and sleep
Yes, there are certain foods that could promote better sleep, but the best choice overall is to eat lightly before bed (if at all) and avoid alcohol or stimulants like caffeine. Save larger, protein-rich meals for breakfast and lunch when your body needs the daytime energy. More ►
The connection between food and sleep is complex. You know that what you eat affects your sleep, but did you know that the reverse is also true? Studies now show that people who are sleep deprived tend to eat more fat-rich foods, simple carbohydrates, and fewer vegetables, possibly because sleep loss alters chemical signals connected to metabolism and hunger. In fact, some researchers believe sleep deprivation to be a factor in the rising rates of obesity. Eating and sleeping well are two vital components of health that are tied in surprising ways.
did you know?
Americans between the ages of 18-64 drink an average of three 12 ounce caffeinated beverages on a weekday, according to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2011 Sleep in America poll.