With our increasingly stressful day to day lives, problems such as sleep apnoea and insomnia are becoming more common. New technology and deeper research has afforded us many solutions to cure or prevent these sleeping problems, but the newest discovery in sleep research is that our diet can have an effect on our sleeping pattern.
If you have trouble sleeping, there are a number of remedies to help you get better shut-eye. Before you even open your fridge, you should make sure that you have a bed that’s got a supportive mattress and is within an environment that’s free of distractions such as smartphones, tablets or televisions.
Next up, take a look at what you’re eating – studies have shown that there are a number of foods that can naturally aid our sleep. Consider adding a few more bananas to your diet. Nutritionist Linda Foster says: “Bananas contain high levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that makes you sleepy, so they can be a great help in combating insomnia.”
Your fridge may be the best place to look if you’re having trouble sleeping. It’s not just an old wives’ tale – a glass of warm milk really can help you to relax and unwind in order to get that essential shut eye. Many dairy products, such as yoghurt, cheese and eggs are all rich in the aforementioned tryptophan, so make sure you can implement these into your diet as much as possible. The famous ‘cheese before bed’ tale has also been disproven too, so you can sleep easy without fear of nightmares!
Another thing to consider when changing your diet to improve your sleep is to look at your eating patterns. It’s best advised not to eat a heavy meal just before going to bed as this disrupts the sleep-hormone melatonin-production cycle. If your blood flow is too focused on digesting a heavy meal, it will speed up your metabolic rate, which needs to be slowed in order to sleep well. Try to avoid eating three hours before bed in order to maintain an efficient process.
Finally, don’t forget to stay away from the cardinal sins of sleep, such as drinking alcohol before bed. Alcohol is a depressant which may make you want to pass out quickly, but once its depressant effects have worn off, it triggers an alertness function in your brain that makes you wake up earlier than natural. Drink water before bed if you must have a few drinks, and keep all sugary snacks to a minimum.