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Most experts advise that you avoid eating several hours before you go to sleep. Sleeping is a time for the body to rest and eating a large meal before hitting the pillow can disrupt your digestive system and make sleep more challenging. However, there are a number of foods that can actually help you sleep better. There are also several foods that are notorious for disrupting sleep patterns and should be avoided.

Five Foods That Can Help You Sleep Better:

If you want to get to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night, try snacking on one of the following five foods about one to two hours before you hop into bed.

1. Bananas

Bananas contain magnesium, a mineral in the body that naturally relaxes the muscles. If your muscles are feeling sore or tense before bed, having a banana one hour before dozing off can benefit you. In addition to magnesium, bananas are packed with serotonin and melatonin, which further increase drowsiness and allow you to sink into your natural REM cycle.

2. Almonds

Healthy fats like almonds are also rich in magnesium to help your muscles relax. Almonds are also bursting with tryptophan which helps to naturally reduce muscle and nerve function while also steadying your heart rhythm. Almonds are also a light snack so you won't feel full or bloated before ending your day.

3. Honey can help you sleep better

The key to having honey before bed is having just the right amount. Too much honey could spike your sugar intake and boost your energy. Add one teaspoon of honey to a cup of tea, this is enough to stimulate the release of melatonin in the brain and help you settle into sleep.

4. Oats

Oats are an unrecognized superfood, filled with nutrients, including the sleep-inducing melatonin. Oats are also a comforting pre-sleep snack that can be made in 10 minutes or less. Double up on sleep-promoting foods by adding half a banana and a teaspoon of honey to half a cup of oatmeal and get ready to snooze.

5. Turkey can help you sleep better

Ever feel exhausted after a big Thanksgiving dinner? Yes, all that socializing may have drained your energy but another contributor could be the tryptophan that's found in turkey. Turkey will make you feel full and tired, and that's a recipe for a better sleep.

 

Five Foods to Avoid That Won't Help You Sleep Better:

1. Alcohol

Alcohol is deceiving because it can help you pass out quickly but come back to haunt you by consistently interrupting your REM cycle. If you want a high-quality sleep, stay away from more than one alcoholic drink before bed.

2. Cheese

sleep better

Cheese contains high levels of the amino acid tyramine which actually makes the brain feel more alert.

3. Spicy food

sleep better

Chilli peppers contain capsaicin which makes it harder for your body to regulate temperature. This can make you uncomfortably hot and queasy before you try to relax into sleep. Save your digestive system and body the trouble and have your last spicy meal at lunch.

4. Fatty food

sleep better

Fatty foods are hard for your stomach to digest and are more likely to cause heartburn which makes it more difficult to get to sleep. Greasy trans fats can upset your stomach and keep you tossing and turning. Avoid foods like pizza, fries, or other fast food items in the evening.

5. Coffee

sleep better

We recommend that you stop drinking coffee at least five hours before you try to fall asleep. Caffeine is known to boost energy levels and keep you alert. Skip the dessert coffee or opt for decaf if you're itching for a comforting evening cup.

 

Sources

Hosie, Rachel. What to eat before bed if you want a good sleep - and what to avoid. Independent. Retrieved from: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/how-to-get-good-nights-sleep-food-before-bed-what-to-eat-a7559961.html

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