The secret to better sleep may be in your kitchen; according to nutritional experts, when you eat these foods in the evening, you’ll give your body an extra boost towards the dreamland. Although common wisdom says that if you eat anything close to bedtime, you’ll hamper your chance of a good night’s sleep, science has proven that is far from the case. The trick to better sleep may simply be a matter of learning what’s smart to eat at night. Although overly rich, sweet, or caffeinated foods can keep your eyes open, these foods contain nutrients that actually help you fall and stay asleep. Read on, and get the facts on how to eat for better sleep on an empty stomach, or on a full one.
How To Eat For Better Sleep On An Empty Stomach
If you’re very hungry before bed, choose a substantial snack that will fill up your tummy, but isn’t so heavy or spicy that it will give you indigestion or cause discomfort instead of helping you sleep better. Try a bowl of oatmeal with a few slices of banana and a splash of warm milk. The oats will help enable your body’s production and use of melatonin, a hormone that regulates your energy levels and sleep cycle. The bananas contain melatonin, as well as a small amount of serotonin, which helps promote a feeling of calm and well-being and banish any worries or anxiety that might keep you up. Bananas also offer your body a source of magnesium, a nutrient that serves as a mild muscle relaxant, so that your physical tension slips away, helping you towards a night of better sleep. The milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that affects your system similarly to the way that a mild sedative would. Having a bowl of oatmeal with bananas and warm milk about a half an hour before bed is a great way to eat for better sleep; in addition to its nutritional properties, its warmth is comforting, and its high fiber content will quiet hunger pangs so that you can get your rest.
How To Eat For Better Sleep On A Full Stomach
If you’re only browsing the kitchen for a light bit e to eat, there are still plenty of options that will help you get better sleep. A few almonds is a great choice for better sleep; when you eat an almond, you take on some of the same chemicals (like tryptophan and magnesium) that you’d find in a bowl of oatmeal. Or, try a teaspoonful of honey. The light hit of glucose will encourage your brain to lower levels of orexin, a neurotransmitter that raises your level of alertness. Orexin gives you the energy and focus you need during the daytime in order to forage for food, but may keep you from getting the kind of sleep you need. When your body has access to a small amount of sugar, like the amount found in a drizzle of honey, it lowers orexin levels, helping you relax and enjoy better sleep. Even if your overall nutritional needs for the day are met, if you haven’t eaten in a few hours your body will probably produce orexin, not knowing it’s time for bed. Have a small bite to eat, and your orexin level will drop, helping you get better sleep all night long.