8 Foods That Affect Your Sleep


By: Gaia Staff  |  May 7, 2014

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.


 

Rachel Grussi

California Bay Area native-turned-Coloradan Rachel Grussi Keller is a lifetime writer and UC Irvine graduate of Literary Journalism. Rachel’s true passion lies in telling the untold story, unraveling the facts and writing the best balance of all sides. With a benevolent bodybuilding father passing on his wellness wisdom, she has a long history of love for health and fitness, as well as helping others come to understand who they are and finding their value.
Rachel can often be found digging into Bioware titles, bonding with animals of all sizes (particularly dogs), traveling to destinations near and far, pushing the limit on her library card and putting yet another mile into her running shoes. She currently lives in the Denver area with her own Prince Charming, Jonathan, and their eternally-energetic, loveable Lab-Pit mutt, Lani.
Twitter: @rgrussi


 

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