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The Best and Worst Foods for Sleep

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Whichever you are, we can all agree that once we finally have time to really unwind and relax, we could do without any extra distractions to keep us from enjoying our slumber. Great sleep is essential to great health, along with great eating habits.

So, to help us all get the rest we want to achieve, I will share some of the best and worst foods conducive for sleep.

The Worst Foods and Drinks for Sleep

1. Coffee

Coffee contains caffeine, which is a central nervous stimulant. Translation: Drinking Java too close to bedtime will keep you up at night!


2. Greasy Fast Foods

The stratospheric fat content of greasy fast food is guaranteed to be a sleep killer.

Fat stimulates the production of acid in the stomach, which can spill up into your esophagus, causing heartburn.

Fatty foods can also loosen the lower esophageal sphincter, the barrier between the stomach and the esophagus, making it even easier for acid to get in all the wrong places.


3. Wine/Alcohol

Alcohol of ANY kind is “terrible” for sleep because it metabolizes quickly in your system and can cause you to wake up multiple times during the night.

Besides interrupting your sleep multiple times throughout the night, alcohol also diminishes the quality of sleep and impacts your snoring worse than usual!


4. Chocolate

Chocolate contains not only calories, but also caffeine (especially dark chocolate).

5. Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew MDX contains 71 milligrams of caffeine per 12-ounce serving. That’s the upper limit of what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows.

And typically, soda drinks contain sodium benzoate and other chemicals that aggravate the gastrointestinal tract and promote acid reflux. All around, Mountain Dew and other sodas are not a recipe for a good night’s sleep.

6. Chicken

Chicken or any type of protein is going to be counterproductive if consumed at night as digestion slows by 50% while you rest. Adding a carbohydrate to the protein can tip the balance back towards sleep.

7. Red Bull

An eight-ounce Red Bull energy drink contains about 80 milligrams of caffeine or equivalent to a one-ounce Starbucks espresso – and we’ve already said: avoid the caffeine at bedtime!


The Best Foods and Drinks for Sleep

1. Cherries

Cherries are one of the few natural foods to contain melatonin, the chemical that helps control our body’s internal clock. It has been discovered that drinking tart cherry juice results in small improvements in sleep duration and quality in adults who suffer from chronic insomnia.

2. Milk

Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to the brain chemical serotonin. It just might be the reason your grandmother would give you a warm glass right before bed.


3. Jasmine Rice

Jasmine rice ranks high on the glycemic index, meaning the body digests it slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the bloodstream.

Consuming jasmine rice four hours before bedtime cuts the amount of time it takes to fall asleep in half when compared with eating a high-glycemic-index meal at the same time interval.


4. Bananas

Bananas help promote sleep because they contain the natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium. Bananas are overall health promoters, providing carbs (which make you sleepy) and potassium which is good for cardiovascular health and cognitive functioning.


5. Fortified Cereal

Carbs in general are good for sleep but it’s not a great idea to binge on a box of cookies before bedtime. Instead, have a bowl of whole grain cereal. Plus, cereal goes well with milk, which as mentioned earlier, has its own sleep-promoting qualities.


6. Turkey

Like milk, turkey contains tryptophan — a chemical that can make people doze off in front of the TV after Thanksgiving dinner, thus making it an ideal snack a few hours before bedtime.

7. Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are a sleeper’s dream. Not only do they provide sleep-promoting complex carbohydrates, they also contain that muscle-relaxant potassium.

If you’re following these eating tips and other good sleep practices, but still find you that have trouble sleeping at night, you could be suffering from OSA.

If you’re regularly having sleep troubles, we can help. Give us a call today to discuss your situation!


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The Best and Worst Foods for Sleep

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