What Are The Best Eating Habits to Sleep Well?

The key to getting a better night's sleep may lie in your stomach. Specifically, what you eat affects the way you sleep.

The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou

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The secret to a better sleeping experience in your bedroom can be found in your kitchen. What we eat and when can directly affect how well we sleep or not.

Kristyn Lassek is the Director of Clinical Nutrition Operations at Alegent Creighton Health System in Omaha, Nebraska. The nutritionist assures that having a full stomach can alter sleep patterns. She recommends having a light snack instead. 

A full stomach means that your body has to work to digest all that food, which will prevent you from sleeping well. You should have an apple or something healthy instead of a cookie or chips to get a good night's sleep.

"Maybe a small bowl of whole-grain cereal. Oatmeal is perfect for that, too," says the doctor. String cheese and yogurt are good low-fat, high-protein options.

If you want something sweeter, look for the natural sweetness of fruits like strawberries or grapes to help you feel full without gaining weight with too many calories. Fruits and nuts are always a good combination.

Also read: Be Careful With Your Health This Holiday Season

The nutritionist recommends avoiding eating just before going to bed. She tries to eat snacks a couple of hours before going to bed. Remember: what you eat before you rest can have a significant impact on your sleep.

What you should not eat

Processed foods can disrupt our sleep and even cause chronic illness. They can lead to cancer, heart disease, and gestational diabetes. Beyond obesity itself, there are many risk factors.

Chocolate has caffeine and sugar, so you shouldn't eat it at night. On the other hand, celery, cucumbers, and watermelon are high in water content. You will be awake to go to the bathroom all night.

Tomatoes, eggplant, aged cheese, and cold cuts contain tyramine, a protein that stimulates the brain and will not allow you to rest properly. Also, skip the large salads and black beans before bed; they are difficult to digest and cause bloating.

What diet helps us sleep?

Walnuts and almonds have natural melatonin, as do fruits like cherries, kiwis, and bananas. Another essential advice from the nutritionist is "don't go to bed hungry either because you can have the opposite problem, where your body at night is lowering blood sugar, which is especially important for diabetics," says Lassek.

It is best to have a light snack around bedtime. "Thirty to sixty minutes is probably a good idea for all of us to keep that in mind," she emphasizes. Ideally, eat large meals about two hours before bed and a small snack thirty minutes before.

Instead of eating processed foods and sugary snacks, the nutritionist recommends eating nutritious foods with vitamins and vegetables. To get a good night's sleep, be sure to eat more good fats like nuts, seeds, and avocado throughout the day. Avoid bad fats like vegetable oil and anything fried. Maintaining a healthy diet and taking care of your diet at night will improve your sleep and your quality of life.

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