The food you eat affects every aspect of your life, but you might not realize just how much it affects them – particularly when it comes to your sleep quality.
Some foods contain ingredients that can help to improve the quality of your sleep while others will cause you problems. And sometimes, it’s the way that you eat it or when you eat it that causes the problems. Here’s some information on how you can change your diet to improve your sleep.
Foods that Help Improve Sleep Quality
Foods with Natural Tryptophan
Some foods, like turkey and dairy, have a lot of naturally occurring tryptophan, which breaks down into niacin and helps you to sleep, especially when you eat it with carbohydrates.
Foods with Natural Melatonin
Other foods, like bananas and rice, have naturally occurring melatonin which is what tells your body to relax and feel tired at night. You can take this over the counter, but if you work these into your evening meal or your late night snack, it can help your body to start producing it on its own.
CBD is a cannabinoid found in hemp and marijuana. CBD is the non-psychotropic cannabinoid that helps with relaxation. You can ingest an oil, smoke it in vape form or use it topically to help yourself to relax before bed.
Foods that Cause Sleep Problems
Alcohol might help you fall asleep, but it’s known to cause problems for your sleep quality because it forces you to wake up to use the restroom more often. This prevents you from getting the REM sleep you need to properly feel rested.
Caffeine is great for waking you up, but it’s also good at keeping you up later than you planned. It gives you a burst of energy, but the jitters can last for up to 8 hours after you ingested it in the first place. This will keep you up later than you planned if you aren’t careful, no matter how comfortable your mattress is.
Spicy and Acidic Foods
If you eat foods that are spicy or acidic and you aren’t used to eating, this can lead to indigestion and heartburn that can keep you awake or make you wake up regularly through the night.
Food Habits that Cause Sleep Problems
Eating Late at Night
If you eat right before bed, you are much more likely to have indigestion, heartburn and have to get up and use the restroom at night. Try to schedule your last meal for three to four hours before you plan to go to bed
Drinking Too Much Water
The more you drink during the day, the more you’ll need to use the restroom. This continues during the night. The more often your sleep is disrupted, the less sleep you are going to get.
If you find yourself having regular trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor. There might be a medical issue underneath all of your sleep struggles. Even if there isn’t, your doctor can help you work through changing your sleep habits and working on your self care habits.