Eat, Sleep, Repeat: What & How to Eat for Better Sleep
Food choices and the way we eat them can influence how we sleep. Of course we all know enough to not drink coffee or tea before sleep, but there are a lot more you should know if you are on a healthy mission to reduce insomnia.
Some foods you should regularly eat to improve sleep quality are fish, chia and flax seeds, whole grains, vegetables, almonds, cherries, and bananas. Foods that are rich in omega 3, magnesium, iron, and zinc can help you sleep better. Fish like salmon, tuna are rich in vitaminB6, which is important to create melatonin, a natural sleep hormone. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3. Kale, spinach and collar greens are rich in iron and calcium which can reduce stress.
There are also things you should consider when you eat. Having good eating habits or routines is helpful to regulate your sleep too. First of all, you should eat your dinner way before you sleep. Eating too close to bedtime can make your body work harder to digest, making it harder to sleep. Also, eating a light dinner is helpful too: keep your dinner full of protein and fiber but nothing too complex as your body will have a harder time digesting while you sleep.
You should also keep in mind that sugar is deadly for your sleep. When your body is able to break down the sugar you ingest while asleep, you are deprived of sleep, which makes you hungrier because the hormone that regulates hunger, ghrelin, goes into overdrive. You get into a negative cycle of sleepless nights and binge eating.
If you truly feel hungry before bed, eat wisely. Having a small bowl of whole-grain cereal and a seed cracker topped with almond butter will suffice. While you should remember to avoid liquid before bed, you can try some calming chamomile tea to reduce your stress of the day. It’s difficult to have a completely clean and healthy eating routine, but you can follow the above steps to ensure that you are on track. At the end of the day, eat better, sleep better!