18 Best and Worst Foods for Sleep
23-02-2021 | Posted By: Shagun Parasher | 1992 View(s)
“We are what we eat”. This is a rightly said quote that means we, our bodies are made up of what we eat. For instance, if a person eats too much of junk he will have a heavy body, if a person takes up a balanced diet, he will have a healthy and fit body. Likewise, the kind of food we eat also has an impact on our sleeping patterns too. And the amount of sleep we take affects our bodies too. There are certain Best and Worst Foods for Sleep and we are going to share those with you in this article.
Besides being cranky the next day at work, skipping on sleep also makes a person more likely to become overweight. And research proves that when you have missed out on shut-eye, you tend to eye more calorie-rich foods the next day. Another reason for losing sleep could be because of the food that you ate before bed, and this is not something we are guessing and saying, it is suggested by research. What you choose to snack on before sleeping plays an important role in deciding how well you sleep. If someday you cannot sleep, look no farther than what you ate before going to bed.
Also, while some foods are disturbing your sleep patterns, there are some that also help in getting a good night’s sleep. In this blog, we are going to talk about some of the Best and Worst Foods that affect your Sleep. These can ease you into your dreamland or can also make you count sheep all night. Read this article till the end to discover the 18 Best and Worst Foods for Sleep.
18 Best and Worst Foods for Sleep
Best Foods First
Here is a list of foods that help you have a sound sleep at night. Read on to discover which one works best for you.
Sleeping is a huge part of making any diet and exercise plan successful. It lets the body to process and recover from all the breakdown of muscles and sweat that has happened throughout the day. Cherries could be the cherry on the cake (your sleep), literally. The research found out that people who drank one ounce of tart cherry juice everyday slept for longer hours, soundly. Cherries act as a natural sleep aid, because of their melatonin content. Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone that signals your body for bed. It is that hormone that plays a major role in maintaining the clock of our body. Cherries come with added benefits; they help you maintain toned physique by replacing less useful sweets and moving along the sleeping process.
Bananas are an excellent source of magnesium and potassium. Bananas can put your body into sleep by calming down the muscles. Magnesium has positive effects on sleep quality in older adults with insomnia. It extends the time they spend sleeping in bed, rather than simply lying there, and makes it easier for them to wake up.
Bananas also contain tryptophan, which is the precursor to calming and sleep-regulating hormones melatonin and serotonin.
There are numerous reasons to love this versatile food. It consists of this long list of sleep-inducing hormones which gives us yet another reason to love spinach. Spinach is a great source of tryptophan, the green in the spinach is an excellent source of folate, vitamins B6 and C and magnesium. All these nutrients are important co-factors in synthesising serotonin and melatonin.
Spinach also contains glutamine which is an amino acid known for stimulating ourr body to get rid of the cellular toxins that push us into sleeplessness. One thing you must remember while dealing with spinach is that you should not cook it on the flame. Heat breaks down the essential vitamins and glutamine that spinach contains.
4.Peanut butter with whole grain
The “whole” in the grain is essential. Whole grains include the grain germ, which is removed during the refining of whole grains into flour. This grain germ includes crucial B vitamins such as folate and vitamin B6- both of which are important for the absorption of tryptophan. Now you can pair it up with peanut butter, rich in tryptophan. These two help in sleeping soundly.
Now there are three types of tea you can go for that will help you sleep.
Many herbal teas offer sedatives effects through flavonoids, flavones and resins. Passionflower tea has flavone chrysin which has anti-anxiety benefits and is a mild sedative that helps you calm nervousness, so you get a tight sleep.
Valerian is a well-known herb that has long been known for its mild sedative action. Research has found out that the valerian herb acts as an extract and half as a placebo. People who have tried valerian tea to improve their sleep have felt its benefits.
The benefits of this tea are proven, but researchers are still working on finding the exact ingredient that tricks the brain to go into sleep mode after you consume valerian.
-Lemon Balm Tea
A European study has found that lemon balm serves as a natural sedative. People who have consumed lemon balm tea during researches have been observed to have reduced sleep disorder levels compared to those who did not consume this tea.
This tea goes back to old times when workers were gathering hops for master brewer’s beer; they kept falling asleep while working. They later realised that are sedative properties in hops. Since then, hops have been used by people as a tea to cure sleeplessness. Hops increase the activity of the GABA neurotransmitter which helps in combating anxiety. Studies have proved that they are more effective when combined with valerian.
If you are a television and movie buff, you already know this one. We can’t even begin to explain how effective warm milk is at night for sleep. Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan which serves as a precursor for the hormone serotonin. Serotonin is a sleep-inducing agent. Remember to mix a spoon of sugar with your milk and also that the milk is skim because high-fat milk takes longer to digest.
Eat lamb and do not count the sheep at night. Again, most meats have tryptophan. Pairing your poultry with carbohydrates such as rice can enhance the eye-shutting experience for you at night.
8.The magic of Three
This one is our favourite. For a triple tryptophan triple treat, combine low-fat Greek yoghurt, banana and honey. Yoghurt and honey will serve the tryptophan while carbs from the banana will make the dish fulfilling for you. You can mix it with raw oats to make the dish tastier and healthy.
Almonds are another muscle-relaxing magnesium source. All other nuts, cashews and peanuts are great, but almonds are the best. Almonds are not only rich in tryptophan but also makeup as an excellent calcium source. These two qualities of almonds make the body to relax and release serotonin.
Kiwi is rich in antioxidants, carotenoids, Vitamin E and C and also contains serotonin. This hormone is linked to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and its low levels may cause insomnia in a lot of people. Similarly, kiwi is rich in folate. Insomnia is one of the health issues that is caused due to folate deficiency. Do you need another reason to eat kiwis?
These were the best foods that help you sleep soundly at night. It is time now that we also talk about the worst ones as if it is good, it is bad too.
Let’s Talk about the Worst
Here is a list of the 8 worst foods that affect your sleep in a bad way. Try to not eat these foods at night or just before sleeping to avoid tossing and turning in your bed and counting sheep.
8 Worst Foods for Sleep
All we are the bearer of bad news, but eating chocolate after dinner is not a wise choice to make. It might do a favour for your mood but not for your sleep. Chocolate consists of caffeine, and if you are sensitive to caffeine, you should not eat a bar of chocolate at night.
While a glass of wine at night helps you in relaxing at night, it harms your body’s REM cycle, which is the restful sleep where dreaming occurs. Drinking too much of alcohol can wake you up in the middle of night, and this can hamper your quality of sleep.
3.High Sugar Cereals
Eating high sugar cereals make blood sugar spike and crash in human beings. This affects sleep. Choose cereals that have less than 5-6 grams of sugar per serving and do not go for potatoes at night. Yes, potatoes are considered under the food group cereals because they have similar nutrient content as that of cereals.
No, sugar and spice do not work here as well. Spicy foods are a go-to when we talk about revving up our metabolism but spices also ruining our chances of having a good night’s sleep. Spicy food can cause heartburn and increase the core body temperature. If your body temperature rises, you tend to struggle in sleeping.
You should take up a lot of water but only during the daytime as slight dehydration can decrease our energy levels. But this is exactly the opposite when it comes to night. Drinking water at night can make you go to the loo very often which hampers sleep.
Green tea is everyone’s favourite because of its benefits for our health. But drinking green tea at night is not good for your sleep. It is better if you do not take green tea 2-3 hours before sleep. Green tea has theobromine and theophylline which increase heart rate, nervousness and anxiety.
Onions can cause gas that affects your stomach. Having a gas can make the acid reach your throat. This is not a pleasant feeling at all, especially when you are trying to sleep. Onions can cause reflux in people who already suffer from heartburn.
8.Eating Too Much Food
While you should not starve yourself any time of the day, you should not eat too much food too. Just avoid stuffing yourself with a lot of food at night because if you do so, your body will still be worked up. And as long as your body is working, you cannot relax. You will fall asleep later and wake up groggy in the morning.
That is it, folks. We talked about the Best and Worst Foods for Sleep. We hope from next time, if you cannot sleep, you will know the reason behind it is the food you ate at dinner. If you find this article useful, do share it with your friends and family and do remember you should always keep yourself in the best of health and do not forget to get yourself a Health Checkup Package at least once in a year or so!