8 Foods That Affect Your Sleep
We think we pretty much have the basics down for foods we should and shouldn’t eat right before bed. If we want to sleep well, that is. Coffee? Bad idea. Warm milk? Nice and relaxing. At least, this is what we’ve all been taught from childhood by our Mothers Dearest. But it turns out Mother might not always know best; there are a ton of other foods you can add and take away from your diet to get yourself a good night’s rest. Combine this with the yoga poses for insomnia and you have a better chance of being out like a light.
1. Good: Almonds
If you are trying to kick the dairy habit but want to get that magnesium lull of warm milk, almonds contain hefty doses of magnesium, tryptophan and melatonin. This makes it a perfect combination of ideal sleep-promoting aids. Try eating a handful an hour or so before bed.
2. Bad: Grapefruit
Ever had bad heartburn while you’re lying there in bed? Kiss the grapefruit goodbye; grapefruit increases your stomach’s acidity. If you’d like to avoid heartburn, keep away from grapefruits, oranges, lemons, or any acidic fruits and vegetables (including juices).
3. Good: Oatmeal
It’s normally thought of as a breakfast food, but the benefits of eating oatmeal before bed might change your mind. Oatmeal is full of plenty of sleep-promoting nutrients, like magnesium, potassium calcium and phosphorous. If you want to switch it up and make it a dessert, you can make a porridge, or serve your family some breakfast cookies.
4. Bad: Celery
While normally celery is a perfectly healthy selection, you shouldn’t munch on it right before bed. Celery has natural diuretic properties, which can be a pain when you’re getting up and out of bed every hour to use the restroom. Better to save it as an afternoon snack, instead. Throw ginger and parsley into this category, as well.
5. Good: Raspberries & Tart Cherries
You know melatonin is a great sleep aid, but did you know tart berries like raspberries and cherries are good superfood sources? It’s true! Go ahead and snack away on these fruits an hour before bed.
6. Bad: Greasy & Fried Foods
Surprise, surprise: people who eat fatty, greasy and fried foods in the evening tend to get less productive sleep than those who don’t. Your stomach is working extra hard to digest the stuff, and can lead to indigestion and heart burn. It’s fine to indulge in calorie-rich foods every once in a while, but try to do so at least 3 hours before you go to sleep to make sure it doesn’t cause issue for you later.
7. Good: Bananas
Say hello to plenty of potassium and magnesium! Bananas are an excellent late night snack and natural muscle relaxer. It also contains tryptophan, the same amino acid that gives turkey its famous sleep-inducing reputation.
8. Bad: Spicy Foods
Not only will you be possibly gassy in bed, but spicy foods take a toll on your gut. They also may impact your sleep. It’s best to avoid spicy meals right before hitting the sack.
Napping Technique Allows You to Tap Into Creative Thought
A fascinating new study examines the mysterious twilight state between wakefulness and sleep and finds that it can be harnessed for creativity and problem-solving.
Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and Salvador Dali, among others, were all said to have used a curious napping technique to spark their creativity and inspired discoveries. Holding an object in their hands while napping, they would wake as the object fell and recall the thoughts they were having at that moment.
Inspired by these visionaries, researcher Delphine Oudiette and her colleagues at the Paris Brain Institute conducted a study to scientifically investigate this phenomenon. The researchers presented participants with mathematical problems that had a hidden rule which would allow them to be solved almost instantly.
They were then given a 20-minute break during which they were instructed to relax in a reclined position while holding a bottle. If the bottle fell, they were asked to report what they had been thinking right before they let go.
Throughout this break, subjects’ physiological activity was recorded to assess their state of wakefulness. Then, after the break, the participants were again presented with the math problems.