Did you know that getting or not getting your seven to eight hours of sleep each night can effect your weight loss and stress management? On the flip side, did you know that not eating and exercising right can result in insomnia and other sleep issues? Most of us know that we need to avoid sugary foods and caffeine before bedtime but what you most likely didn’t know is that there are foods and drinks you can and probably should have before you lay down at night.
Small Bedtime Snacks
A small bedtime snack of about 200 calories an hour or so before bed can actually help you sleep better. This does not mean that you sit in bed with a bag of potato chips while watching TV. Some things to try to keep the monster of insomnia away at night include things like a healthy cereal with 1/2 cup of milk which will help produce the calming hormone serotonin. Nutritionists also say that combining a carbohydrate with a small bit of protein is also a good idea. If you are having a sweet craving do not fall into the trap of milk and cookies! Instead try a slice of bread with peanut butter and a banana. Whatever you do avoid eating anything heavy or that your body will have to work hard to digest.
As a concentrated form of melatonin, a natural hormone and sleep aid, cherries are now being touted as a great sleep enhancer for those who have trouble getting their zzz’s at night. Several studies have been conducted showing a modest improvement for those who drank 8 oz of tart cherry juice twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. While certainly not an end all, be all for sleep improvement, it does offer some help, especially with the elderly.
Similar to cherries, most types of fish offer vitamin B6, a necessary ingredient to make the sleep inducing hormone, melatonin. Salmon and tuna are two of the biggest producers of B6 and could help you fall asleep easier. Incorporate these into your weekly meal plan. t
A recent sleep-related test compared jasmine rice to the longer grain rices and found that healthy sleepers who ate high carb suppers of vegetables and tomato sauce over rices fell asleep a great deal faster with jasmine rice as opposed to the long grain. The speculation is that the body produced greater amounts of insulin because of the jasmine rice and sent the body into a slight stupor.