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How to Eat for a Good Night’s Sleep

“Eating the right foods provides energy for your workout and improves the quality of your sleep. In turn, a sound night of sleep makes you more likely to eat right the next day.”

– Tom Rath, author of Eat Move Sleep

Start sleeping better tonight by giving a little extra thought to your food, drink, and supplement choices. Timing is important, too, because it’s not just what you eat and drink, but when you do it. For example, a mimosa with brunch can be fine, but a nightcap can keep you up.

What to Eat at Night
Some foods lead to more indigestion and bathroom trips than others, so an easy way to sleep better is by eating and drinking mindfully at night. Eating late at night, and fat, in particular, has been shown to disrupt sleep. Effects vary from person to person, but in general, raw vegetables, fatty foods, chocolate, cured meats, and sugary snacks are all linked to sleep disturbances. Better choices would be almonds, turkey, oatmeal, or a banana. Your brain runs on glucose and sleep is a highly metabolic process, so a small amount of raw honey can work as a brain-boosting sleep tonic before bed.

Have Your Rosé During the Day
It’s not just sleeping pills that mess with your healthy, natural sleep. Alcohol is also a sedative that blocks your access to REM sleep. According to The Sleep Doctor, alcohol disrupts your circadian rhythm, making you vulnerable to poor liver function, depression, and leaky gut, too. He explains, “Research indicates that a moderate dose of alcohol up to an hour before bedtime can reduce melatonin production by nearly 20 percent.” Alcoholic drinks also mean frequent bathroom trips in the second half of the night and increases in snoring sleepwalking and sleep eating. Want to socialize without the sleep disturbance? Make it a brunch date!

Cut Caffeine Earlier
Caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours and a quarter-life of 12 hours. So a midday cup of coffee is still affecting you at midnight as if you drank a quarter cup right before bed! Sleep expert Matthew Walker warns that it’s best to avoid caffeine and other stimulants late in the day. The sooner you quit for the day, the better you’ll sleep!

Supplement Wisely
Sleep quality depends on nutrients, but not all supplements support healthy sleep. Seeing the word “natural” on the label isn’t necessarily helpful since there are hundreds of herbs that will disrupt your sleep cycle, mostly due to their naturally-occurring stimulant or sedative effects. Dietary superstars for sleep include Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Chlorophyll. These nutrients are perfect supports for civilized sleep because they’re precursors—they empower your body to optimize its own sleep processes naturally. You could also try chamomile and CBD. It works for us!

The Takeaway
Everything you eat and drink makes a major impact on your sleep. When it comes to alcohol and caffeine, keep an eye on timing. And if you’re considering any herbal remedy, start by researching its sedative or stimulant effects.

We believe the amazing benefits of healthy, high-quality sleep should be accessible to everyone! Want to get a better night’s sleep starting tonight? Check out 5 Rules for Civilized Sleep* (that everyone can do). 

Author: Erin Fierst
Photography: Creative Commons

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