March 22nd, 2019

How Diet Affects Sleep Quality

How Diet Affects Sleep Quality

There are two things in life that you should always be aware of - your diet and your sleep. 

Both of them work together to give you the energy to get through your day and to be your best self. However, what you might not realize is that the food that you eat and when you eat it can affect the way that you sleep and how much sleep you get. 

In order to be your best self, you should keep an eye on your diet and how it affects your rest patterns. Here are some of the ways diet affects the way you sleep. IndigestionIf you eat food that doesn't agree with you, or that you are allergic to, it can lead to some pretty severe indigestion that will have you struggling to sleep. This tends to happen more often when you eat at night, or when you eat spicy foods that you aren't used to eating.

Indigestion
If you know that you were going to be eating a dinner that might not agree with you, try taking some natural medicine for indigestion beforehand or drinking a glass of milk with dinner to cut the spice of what you're eating. 

Hunger
You should also avoid going to bed hungry. If your stomach is growling, there's no way you aren't going to struggle to sleep. Plan your last meal of the day to be three to four hours before you plan to go to bed in order to avoid digesting while you sleep but also making sure there's something in your stomach while you're trying to get there. 

Late Night Snack
As mentioned above, you should try to avoid Eating meals or even snacks late at night. that's because the later you eat, the more likely you are to have to wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. 

You should plan your meals for three to four hours before bedtime to have the least amount of issues with digesting while you sleep. You should also avoid drinking alcohol late at night, as it will increase your need to pee throughout the night and cause disturbed sleep. 
If you must have a late night snack, try something that combines dairy and carbohydrates, like a bowl of cereal.

Dairy has a lot of chemical tryptophan in it naturally, making it easy for you to get the Sleepy feeling that it often creates, but the carbohydrates will help you actively digest tryptophan. This combination will make you feel sleepier faster and get back to getting your beauty sleep. 

If you think that's what you are eating is having a detrimental effect on your Sleep Quality, try keeping a food diary for a couple of weeks. You can use that to measure the results you're getting on your own and make adjustments, but also to talk to a doctor or nutritionist to offer some substitutions. 

While you're at it, you should make sure that your bedding is comfortable. If you haven't replaced your pillows or mattress in recent memory, that could make a huge difference to how much sleep you get. 


Ellie PorterManaging Editor | SleepHelp.orgellie@sleephelp.org

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