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.
What Your Sleeping Position Reveals About You
I know it’s better for me as a woman to sleep on my back, arms at my side or resting on my torso peacefully. But no matter how hard I fight, the lure of sleeping in my favorite position—curled up on my side, legs tucked bent towards my chest—is just too much to resist. Sleeping in this position simply comforting to me, and sends me right to sleep, whereas sleeping on my back is a struggle. You might have a similar predicament, with this pose or a different one. Why is it like this? Why can’t we just automatically shift to the position that’s better for us?
Your sleeping position may actually have a connection with your personality and the way you think, feel and behave. There’s enough research to indicate that the posture adopted while sleeping has a lot to tell about the kind of people we are – introverted, confident, fun-loving, trusting, or something else.
It’s along the same vein as body language. How you sit, stand, or gesture when you’re awake can be unconscious signals, such as leaning away from someone you don’t like or crossing your arms during an argument. Sleeping positions are similar, and maybe even more revealing, as you have very little control of where you end up when you’re asleep, thus sending signals that are true to you without any filters.
Here are the top six most common sleeping positions, as well as a general overview of what they can mean:
- Fetal Position
What It Looks Like:
Curled up on your side.
What It Means:
This is the most common sleeping position (though it’s more common for women than men). According to research on this sleep subject, those who sleep in the fetal position were found to be sturdy and strong on first impressions but introverted and sensitive at heart when better known. These people are reserved and usually take time to open up to others but when they do, they are relaxed and comfortable. The outwardly tough appearance and brave face is actually a protection against the world. People with leg cramps or conditions like the restless legs syndrome generally experience leg discomfort, and tend to adopt the fetal position.
If you’re like me and are constantly curling up to your left side, you may be increasing the pressure and stress on vital organs such as the liver, the heart, the stomach and the lungs. So, if fetus is your position of choice, take care to curl up on the right side of your body.