When it comes to a good night's sleep, you probably already know that putting away the electronics, keeping the bedroom cool and dark, and sticking to a consistent bedtime routine are all helpful tips.
However, what you might not realize is that your sleep is also closely related to your diet. Eating less fiber and more saturated fat and sugar can lead to poor sleep quality, while some foods are considered sleep-friendly.
Let’s explore how eating habits and sleep are connected and what foods and drinks to avoid or include in your diet for a good night's sleep.
1. Caffeine: Coffee lovers pay attention! Consuming caffeine in the evenings or even late afternoons can significantly affect your sleep. Caffeine blocks the action of the hormone that helps you feel sleepy – melatonin. So, if you have trouble sleeping, you might want to switch to decaf or limit your caffeine intake. If you can't resist having a cup of coffee in the afternoon or after dinner, stick to a small cup rather than a grande or venti.
2. Alcohol: It is common knowledge that alcohol can make you feel sleepy, but it can also lead to fragmented sleep and nighttime awakenings. That's because alcohol interferes with your sleep patterns and reduces the amount of deep sleep you have, which is crucial for feeling rested and refreshed. If you enjoy a glass of wine or a beer, try to have it a few hours before bedtime and in moderation. Interested in cutting back? Here’s a great way to start with our Summer Sipping Sangria recipe.
3. Heavy, Spicy or Fatty Foods: Rich meals with heavy, greasy, and spicy ingredients can disrupt sleep by creating an unpleasant feeling of fullness, indigestion, and acid reflux. These foods can also stimulate your brain activity and make it harder to fall asleep. Whenever possible, try to eat your last meal at least two hours before bedtime and choose lighter, nutrient-dense options that are easier to digest.
4. Acidic Foods: Certain foods such as tomatoes, citrus, and vinegar can cause heartburn, which can be worsened when you are lying down, leading to uncomfortable nighttime awakenings. If you notice that acidic foods cause you trouble during the night, try to avoid or limit them, especially in the evenings.
5. Sugar: Consuming excessive amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates can cause blood sugar fluctuations that disrupt your sleep patterns. Additionally, sugary foods can give you a temporary energy boost that can make it harder to fall asleep. If you need a sweet treat, opt for fruits that contain natural sugars and are packed with sleep-promoting nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and melatonin.
6. Water: Drinking adequate water throughout the day is essential for overall health, but did you know that staying hydrated can also promote better sleep? Dehydration can lead to headaches, muscle cramps, and dry mouth, all of which can interfere with your slumber. However, try not to drink too much water before bedtime, as it can cause you to wake up for bathroom trips.
7. Sleep-friendly Snacks: Snacking before bed isn't always bad, as long as you opt for the right foods. Here are some sleep-friendly snack ideas that won't disrupt your sleep: a handful of almonds, a small piece of cheese with whole-grain crackers, a spoonful of nut butter with an apple, a yogurt with some berries, a small bowl of oatmeal, or a banana with some peanut butter.
How gut health impacts sleep
Depending on the day you’ve had, the food you’ve eaten, and so many other variables in your life, good, healthy sleep can be hard to come by. But we do know that your digestive health plays a big role.
While scientists are just beginning to make the connection between gut health and good sleep, research already shows that prebiotics and probiotics, which are good for your gut, can be a big help. One easy way to make sure you’re getting them is with a digestive enzyme supplement with prebiotics and probiotics in it.
Paying attention to what you eat and when you eat it, giving yourself a little extra help with a supplement that’s designed to support your digestive health, and implementing a solid sleep routine are important paths leading you back to dreamland.
Have questions about digestive supplements in the Zenwise® line? Our customer service team is ready can help at firstname.lastname@example.org or M-F from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST at (800) 940-1972.
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