The food that we put in our body affects every part of our body functions from our energy levels to how well we sleep. Different foods and substances affect us all differently, so here are some of the ways that different foods will affect you!
Foods that Help Improve Sleep Quality
If you’re looking for foods to add to your diet to improve your sleep quality, try foods from these two categories.
Foods with Natural Melatonin
When you want to get to sleep, you want more melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle by making you feel tired or wakeful. Foods such as bananas, sour cherries, seeds such as walnuts or peanuts, and grains are fairly high in melatonin naturally. They can help you to get to sleep easier, and stay there longer.
Foods that Naturally Contain Tryptophan
You might know of tryptophan from news coverage of Thanksgiving dinner, but it doesn’t just come from turkey. Tryptophan is an amino acid found in foods such as turkey, chicken, meat, dairy products, eggs, and fish. Your body breaks it down into niacin, which creates serotonin.
A combination of dairy and carbohydrates is perfect to bring a lot of tryptophan into your system and to help you start using it as soon as possible. It also makes it easier for you to get calcium into your system, which is great for you!
Foods that Contribute to Delayed Sleep
If you’re looking for foods to avoid, take a look at these categories and stay away from them in the afternoons and evenings to make sure you can get to sleep.
As you might have guessed, caffeine is great for keeping you awake when you need to be. However, it stays in your system for up to 8 hours after you ingest it, causing problems if you try to go to sleep after drinking it. Try to keep your caffeine intake to a minimum and in the morning instead of the afternoon
Foods that contain Tyramine
Tyramine is an amino acid that tells your brain to release a stimulant called norepinephrine, which boosts brain activity and delays sleep.
Soy sauce, red wine, aged cheeses, and tomatoes are some of the foods that are highest in tyramine, so try to have them before dinner instead of after.
Foods that Contribute to Disturbed Sleep
If you’re looking for foods to avoid, take a look at these categories and stay away from them in the afternoons and evenings to make sure you can stay asleep.
Foods High in Fat
When you eat foods that are high in fat, your body has to create a lot of stomach acid to digest them. This means that you are more likely to wake up in the middle of the night with indigestion or gas.
Alcohol may make you feel sleepy earlier, but it will also make it harder for you to stay asleep long enough to get the REM sleep you need because you’ll need to use the restroom more often during the night.
If you are worried about your diet and how it’s affecting your sleep cycle, talk to your doctor and a nutritionist about how you can improve both!