Snack Time for Sleep Time
This is something that I have been exploring more and more of late. I feel rather strongly that the food we eat affects us to a large extent. Even when I am doubting myself, I am often shown differently.
When children are small, we will often put substantial effort into making sure we feed them certain foods at certain times. High sugar earlier in the day, so it has time to work out and something wholesome at night to help them sleep better.
People will swear by the fact that certain foods help them sleep better and their children, too. One that is popular in my family is oats. Yep, oats for dinner makes for better sleeping in our experience.
Choosing foods with nutritional value
Telling us what magic is within certain foods and arming us with the knowledge we need helps us to make decisions for our bodies. By using this information, you can make the best choices and learn a thing or two along the way.
The foods that help me sleep better are foods that are rich in magnesium, melatonin (sleepy hormone), and even serotonin (mood stabilizer). If you want to get real serious about it, a food diary that spans over at least 2 to 4 weeks will give you a good idea if there are some foods helping.
Importantly, it will also show if there are foods aggravating it. While this seems like a mission, you only need to do it for a while, and it can have significant results.
Foods that help me sleep
Honey can stimulate the production of melatonin, and it only takes a teaspoon. It may also help to somewhat subdue orexins, which are responsible for keeping us awake. Some honey before bed can help slow you down and relax. I like taking mine in a cup of Melissa or chamomile tea.
Oats are rich in amino acids, which promote the manufacturing of Melatonin in your body.
Bananas, while generally known for boosting our energy and concentration, they are also a great source of magnesium which helps to relax the muscles. Bananas are also well-known for helping produce melatonin in our bodies.
Almonds are also a great source for magnesium.
Sounds like a bowl of oats with honey, banana, and almonds is the way to go.
Foods I avoid at bedtime
Just as there are foods that are good for us and could assist in better quality sleep, there is always the opposite, food that really just does not agree with sleep. They could cause a level of discomfort and aggravate your already struggling sleep cycle.
Alcohol, while this may make you feel sleepier after a glass of an alcoholic drink, alcohol can actually inhibit deep sleep.
Caffeine, may seem like an obvious culprit for struggling to sleep. We do not always realise how long the effects of caffeine stays within our bodies.
Chilli and spicy food, you could get some indigestion from this, and the capsaicin in the spices often affects your body temperature. This could make for less than ideal sleeping circumstances.
These are the things that affect and help me. I find that eating a little while before bedtime also makes a big difference. While none of these will sort the insomnia out completely, it could help a bit.
Do you find that there are any main culprits that make it worse for you or help you substantially?
Do you have any other health conditions besides insomnia?