You may not think what happens at your dinner table has much to do with your nights of tossing and turning, but there is a connection. Diets high in refined sugar can cause indigestion and trigger insulin surges that interfere with the hormones that affect sleep. The solution: low-fat and high-fiber foods. When you eat is as important as what you eat for a peaceful night. Eating late at night forces your body and brain to be digesting instead of resting. Avoid eating 3 hours before you go to bed.
The following are simple, tasty and nutritious options to help you get the 7-8 hours of sleep that are so critical to your health:
Bananas are chockfull of potassium and magnesium, which both help to relax your muscles to give you a peaceful night’s sleep. Bananas also have the added benefit of helping to lower your blood pressure while you sleep.
Popcorn with parmesan cheese provides a delicious combination of carbohydrates and dairy. Dairy has tryptophan in it, which is a precursor to a sleep-inducing hormone, and the carbohydrates in the popcorn help your brain absorb tryptophan better. For simple instructions to make light, homemade popcorn, click here.
Top your salads with chia seeds; they contain the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan. The tryptophan in chia seeds, like in turkey, raises melatonin and serotonin levels, which promotes stable sleep. With more than twice the tryptophan of turkey, you’ll need just 2 ounces of chia seeds to help you snooze.