Stay away from the spicy Doritos and put away the double chocolate donuts if you’re having trouble falling asleep.
Both can make it pretty difficult to fall asleep — and even harder to stay in deep sleep, experts warn.
Instead, you should avoid foods high in tryptophan, magnesium, and B vitamins.
These appear to promote rest and muscle relaxation and help regulate your sleep.
The best way to include them in your diet is as follows:
- Tryptophan – found in turkey, dairy products and seeds
- Magnesium – found in leafy greens, nuts and whole grains
- B vitamins – found in eggs, meat and legumes
dr Sue Peacock, a consulting health psychologist who specializes in sleep disorders, said, “Many people don’t make a connection between their food intake and sleep disorders.”
“But staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet with foods rich in sleep-promoting nutrients can make a big difference.”
“Eating large, heavy, or spicy meals just before bedtime can cause discomfort and indigestion, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
“However, tryptophan, found in turkey, dairy, and seeds, helps produce serotonin and melatonin and promotes relaxation and sleep.”
“Magnesium-rich foods include leafy greens, nuts, and whole grains, which may aid in muscle relaxation.
“And B vitamins are found in eggs, meat and legumes and contribute to the production of neurotransmitters involved in sleep regulation.”
So if you’re deciding what to eat before hitting the hay, consider skipping the Chilli Heatwave tortilla chips and decadent Krispy Kremes and instead opting for a turkey and boiled egg sandwich on whole wheat bread stuffed with spinach and hummus, to treat.
Then garnish a portion of Greek yoghurt with almonds and sunflower seeds and you are ready for a restful night.
This meets the relevant sleep-promoting requirements without sacrificing taste. Here’s how:
- Tryptophan – Turkey slices, Greek yogurt, sunflower seeds
- Magnesium – spinach, almonds, whole wheat bread
- B vitamins – boiled egg, chickpeas
dr Peacock who works with opera bedssaid it’s also important to stay hydrated throughout the day, but people should limit their water intake a few hours before bed.
“You don’t want your body to wake you up at night to go to the bathroom,” she added.
The consumption of alcohol and coffee should also be kept to a minimum.
“While alcohol can initially induce drowsiness, it can affect the quality of rest and lead to more frequent awakenings and less restful sleep,” said Dr. Peacock.
“Caffeine and other stimulants also interfere with the body’s ability to naturally switch off and relax. Therefore, you should set a specific time of day to stop consuming caffeine based on your sensitivity.”