It is not longer a secret that getting enough sleep is essential in staying healthy. But did you know that what you are eating could be impacting how you are sleeping?
There is little "hard evidence" when it comes to what foods are best (or worst) but anecdotal evidence suggests that some foods are "sleep promoters" while others are "sleep stealers" says Russell Rosenberg, Ph.D., CEO of the National Sleep Foundation.
Check it out:
Cherries contain melatonin which helps our bodies control its inner clock. A really small study found that drinking tart cherry juice resulted in improved sleep duration and quality in adults who suffered with chronic insomnia.
Worst: Bacon Cheeseburger.
The stratospheric fat found in this particular fat food item is pretty much a sleep killer. Fat stimulates the production of acid in the stomach which can lead to heart burn. Actually, there is little redeeming in this food item.
Remember that warm glass of milk your mother used to give you at night? There might be something to it. Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to the brain chemical serotonin. There is some suggestion that tryptophan and serotonin make it easier to sleep.
Alcohol is terrible for sleep. One study found that a glass of bourbon or vodka mixed with caffeine-free soda at bedtime increased the amount of time women spent awake during the night by 15 minutes. It also reduced nightly sleep time by 19 minutes and diminished quality of sleep.
Best: Jasmine Rice.
jasmine rice is high on the glycemic index which means your body processes it slowly and releases glucose slowly into the blood stream. A 2007 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
found that consuming jasmine rice four hours before bedtime cut the amount of time it took to fall asleep in half when compared with eating a high-glycemic-index meal at the same time interval.
This one shouldn't be much of a surprise. Drinking the caffeine in coffee too close to bed time may spell disaster. Your sensitivity to the caffeine is often dependent on the amount your consume regularly and your tolerance levels. If you are unsure, best to take a pass.
Magnesium and potassium act as natural muscle relaxants which, of course, is great for sleep.
Worst: Red Bull.
Again, there should be no shockers here. Caffeine. One 8 ounce Red Bull contains 80 milligrams of caffeine. You should be taking a pass on energy drinks in general but especially around bed time.
Here's tryptophan again! Although if you are a sufferer of insomnia, you'd have to eat a lot of turkey for it to help you. For everyone else, it can't hurt.
Worst: Indian Curry.
It isn't the Indian food itself but the spices. One study conducted in Australia found that young men who poured Tabasco sauce and mustard on their dinner had more trouble falling asleep and experienced less deep sleep than men who ate blander suppers. Spices can also cause heartburn.
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