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 The Best And Worst Foods For A Good Night's Sleep

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PostSubject: The Best And Worst Foods For A Good Night's Sleep   Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:09 pm

#1 Milk
At one point or another everyone has been told to drink a glass of warm milk if they are having trouble sleeping. The reason why so many people suggest it is because drinking milk before bed actually does help you fall asleep. The ingredient in milk that helps you sleep is called tryptophan.

Tryptophan is a strong amino acid that can promote sleep. Your body cannot produce tryptophan on its own, which is why it must be consumed through foods. Tryptophan assists your body in creating niacin, a B level vitamin that is essential to creating serotonin. Your body uses serotonin as a catalyst for sleep. Other foods that are good sources of tryptophan include bananas, peanuts and pumpkin seeds.


#2 Ice Cream
We know it's tough to resist, but ice cream is not a good choice before bedtime if you want to fall asleep. Ice cream is high in fat and eating it before bed won't give your body a chance to burn that fat.

Ice cream is also high in sugar which will give your body energy. Not only will your body not be able to burn the fat, but the sugar will be stored and turned in to fat. This means consuming ice cream before bed is just a lose-lose situation for your body. Consuming foods that are high in sugar before bed can also cause you to have nightmares. If you're looking for a food to help you fall asleep, ice cream is definitely not the right choice.


#3 Fish
Have you ever thought about having a nice seafood dinner to help you sleep better at night? The truth is that might not be such a bad idea. Fish is great for you due to the fact that it contains Omega 3. Omega 3 is a fatty acid that helps fight blood pressure. Eating fish will also help your body produce serotonin and melatonin. Better production of these important chemicals will help you sleep better and longer.

Some people take fish oil supplements to get the same effect, but there is no evidence to support that fish oil supplements will help you sleep better. If you want a good nights sleep make sure you get your Omega 3 straight from the fish itself.


#4 Celery
Many people think that eating vegetables before bedtime will help them sleep. The truth is that's not always the case. When it comes to celery, it's a bad choice before bedtime due to the fact that it's a natural diuretic. Because it is a natural diuretic it will cause you urinate more frequently throughout the night.

Diuretics push water through your system and elevate the rate of urination. This will cause you to wake up several times during the night to pee which won't make for a good nights sleep. Celery is good for you, but not before bedtime.


#5 Oatmeal
Oatmeal is normally thought of as a breakfast food, but it is great for helping you fall asleep. If you're having trouble getting some rest, a warm bowl of oatmeal might be exactly what you need.

Not only is oatmeal easy to prepare, but it's also rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and potassium. All of those ingredients combined create the perfect recipe for sleep.

Just make sure you don't go overboard when it comes to the sweeteners. Too much sugar can have the opposite effect that you are looking for. If you are looking to indulge your sweet tooth, then skip the sugar and add some bananas. If you want to sleep great then don't skip the oatmeal!


#6 Jasmine Rice
Jasmine rice is easy to eat, low in fat and great before bedtime. Jasmine rice ranks high on the glycemic index and your body digests it slowly. While your body is digesting the rice slowly it will gradually release glucose into the bloodstream.

It is suggested that you eat jasmine rice 4 hours before bedtime. Studies have show that eating jasmine rice 4 hours before bedtime will help you fall asleep much faster than you normally would. It is also believed that jasmine rice helps your body produce tryptophan. More tryptophan in your body means more serotonin which means better sleep for you. If you want a before-bedtime snack, jasmine rice is perfect. Just remember to eat it 4 hours before you plan on sleeping.


#7 Coffee
Coffee is great for getting you going in the morning, but it's definitely not a good choice if you are searching for something to help you fall asleep. Coffee is high in caffeine and caffeine will keep you up all night. Although some people have the opposite reaction and find that caffeine calms them down, that type of reaction is very rare.

Caffeine also has many side effects that will make it harder for you to fall asleep. Side effects of caffeine include anxiety, heart problems and diarrhoea. Coffee has also been known to make you jittery and cause your body to shake. All of these side effects will surely make you very uncomfortable while trying to fall asleep. Stay away from coffee before bedtime.


#8 Cereal
Believe it or not, carbs are good for sleep. That doesn't meant it's a good idea to binge on cookies or pasta before bedtime, but cereal is a different story. Cereals such as shredded wheat contain complex carbs. Complex carbs are the type of carbs that are good for you.

Cereal also goes great with milk, which also helps promote sleep. You can kill two birds with one stone by eating cereal as a before-bedtime snack. Make sure to avoid cereals that are high in sugar. Grab a nice bowl of cereal, top it off with some milk, and enjoy a good nights sleep.


#9 Alcohol
Quite a few people get in the habit of having a drink to help them fall asleep. Alcohol tends to make you drowsy so it should make you sleep better right? Wrong. Alcohol is good for helping you fall asleep fast but not much else.

Your body won't go into a very deep sleep under the influence of alcohol and you won't feel as rested as you normally would when you wake up. You may experience night sweats, headaches, and frequent awakenings if you drink alcohol before bedtime. If you can't avoid drinking alcohol then it is best for your body if you stop drinking it 4 to 6 hours before you plan on sleeping. When you find yourself drinking before bedtime make sure to drink a glass of water for each alcoholic drink you have. Drinking water will make the effects of the alcohol less severe.


#10 Cherries
In order to fall in to a deep sleep your body needs to produce a healthy amount of melatonin. According to research, cherries are one of the only natural food sources of melatonin.

Increasing the melatonin in your body will help control your body's internal clock and regulate your sleep patterns. The problem with cherries is that they are out of season for ten months a year. During the months when cherries are out of season, cherry juice and dried cherries make great substitutes.

It is recommended that if you want to enjoy the sleep benefits of cherries, that you eat them an hour before bedtime. Not only will cherries help you sleep but they are also a great source of vitamin C. On top of all that they taste great as well!


#11 Chocolate
Thinking about having a nice sweet little snack before bedtime? Think again! We all know caffeine is notorious for keeping us awake, but it might surprise you to know that most chocolate contains caffeine.

Dark chocolate can contain up to 30 milligrams of caffeine, which is the same as a cup of tea. Chocolate also contains theobromine which is another stimulant. Theobromine is known to increase your heart rate as well as cause sleeplessness. Sounds like a pretty big price to pay just because you wanted to indulge your sweet tooth. If you're making a list of foods to consume before bedtime, make sure to leave chocolate off of it.


#12 Toast
Do you have too much energy before bedtime? Do you need to wind down? Toast could be just the thing you need. Foods that are rich in carbohydrates cause a spike in your blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar levels rise your body produces insulin in order to bring them back down.

When your body produces the insulin, it causes you to become sleepy. Another great benefit of the insulin is that it triggers a release of serotonin and tryptophan in your body which will make you feel relaxed. Toast is not only good for breakfast, it's also a great snack before bedtime.


#13 Spicy Foods
Spicy foods are great for adding a little flavour to your meal at dinner, but you will regret it when you bedtime rolls around. Spicy foods cause indigestion which could keep you up all night. If that isn't bad enough just know that the side effects don't end there.

Heartburn and nausea are both common side effects of spicy foods as well. These types of side effects could have you tossing and turning all night. On top of that, depending on what you eat you may need to take multiple trips to the bathroom. Although spicy foods seem like a good idea at the time, they could have a big impact on how you sleep. It's ok to eat spicy foods every once in a while but don't do it before bedtime.


#14 Bananas
If bananas aren't already a favourite food of yours, then you should think about adding them to your diet. People don't normally think of bananas as a food that can help you sleep better, but the truth is they are one of the best when it comes to sleep aid.

In order to fall asleep you need to feel relaxed. In order to feel relaxed you need to relieve all the tension in your muscles that has been built up over the day. This is where bananas come in! Bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium which are both natural muscle relaxants. The more relaxed your muscles are the easier it will be to fall asleep. Need to unwind after a long day? Eat a banana.


#15 Protein
Protein is a great source of energy during the day, but at night it will only keep you awake. Not only will it keep you awake, but if you eat too much you will also gain weight. Carrying extra weight on your body can even lead to a sleep disorder such as insomnia.

Protein also blocks the activity of serotonin and without serotonin your body won't be able to relax or fall asleep. Protein is great for keeping you alert and giving you energy, but if you eat it in excess it will keep you awake. Stay away from meats and poultry that may be high in fat before bedtime as they may also cause indigestion.

When you consume meat during the day, make sure that it is lean. Your body needs protein but make sure not to do overdo it because it will keep you awake at night.
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