Foods That Will Help or Wreck Your Sleep

You can’t eat a Thanksgiving-style turkey dinner every night, but you certainly can take advantage of the power of tryptophan to help you zzzzzz off. Foods with tryptophan that help you doze off include milk, eggs, nuts, seeds, bananas and honey. For the ultimate honey fix, try some decaffeinated chamomile tea with honey (and a slice of sleep-aiding kiwi fruit if you like).

Other carbohydrate-rich foods, including breads, cheese, crackers and the like, can also help you drift off into dreams-ville, but they also can rapidly turn to fat if you’re not careful.

On the other side of the sleep scale, high-fat repasts at night (or in general) — such as burgers and fries — only make it harder to sleep and also can contribute to weight gain, which in turn tends to cause sleep problems.

And probably most obviously, anything with caffeine can militate against your proper sleep routine, making it both hard to doze off and hard to stay asleep. Some medications you take may also contain caffeine, so be careful to analyze what you’re consuming as a supplement, vitamin or medicine.

Though alcohol can help you fall asleep, it does little to induce restorative sleep and generally results in waking you up to go to the bathroom or simply because the booze has worn off. Spicy foods also interfere with your sleep pattern. Protein-rich dinners can be hard to digest and thus can also disrupt the sleep cycle. Generally, eat your biggest meal before 3 p.m. if you want optimum sleep and weight control.

These tips are all part and parcel of what’s called good sleep hygiene, habits that contribute to getting the best type of rest and rejuvenation possible. Other tips, as we’ve discussed before, include making sure the bedroom/sleep environment is such that it can help induce rather than hinder sleep. Think no lights, no sounds, no disturbances.

Ultimately, if you follow good, even great, sleep hygiene habits, including what you do and eat before going to bed, and you still have problems getting a great night’s rejuvenation, you need to consider seeing a sleep professional such as those at The Snoring Center. Your sound sleep leads to your daily health, vigor and success, so never taken your sleep patterns for granted.

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