In a previous post, we examined the effect of turkey dinner on one’s sleepiness and found that, though tryptophan was involved, that wasn’t the only reason for sudden drowsiness after a Thanksgiving feast.
Tryptophan, however, is an excellent pre-bedtime addition to aid in sleeping. A glass of warm milk will indeed do the trick, as milk is high in tryptophan. Other good sources are nuts, seeds, bananas, honey and eggs.
Foods high in carbohydrates are a natural complement to tryptophan, so bread, crackers and cheese and cereal and yogurt work their magic too.
The main point, however, is that these foods should be snack-sized, not full meals that will tax your digestive system and wreck your sleep.
High-fat foods, such as fast food items like burgers and fries, if eaten too closely to bedtime, will also wreak havoc on your sleep cycle, to say nothing of packing on the pounds. In general, avoid protein products before going to bed.
Caffeine should also be avoided four to six hours before beddy-bye, even chocolate products that contain hidden caffeine. Some medications, including pain products and diet pills, also often contain caffeine, so be careful.
Alcohol, like caffeine, should be avoided four to six hours before sleep time. Though alcoholic drinks may help us fall asleep, they interrupt the sleep cycle. And remember, if you do drink, balance each drink with a glass of water to re-hydrate your system.
These are a few tips to help you with your sleep hygiene, but if overall you’re not getting the type of sleep that reinvigorates you for your daytime challenges, you should seek professional help as soon as possible.