Healthy Drinking and Eating Habits for Better Sleep

Promoting Sleep with Food and Drink

Late at night, when your tired, overworked body begs for sleep but your busy mind is wide awake, you may decide to slide your feet into your slippers and head straight into the kitchen to warm yourself a glass of milk. While we do not need to eat certain foods to get essential shut-eye, there are foods that help promote sleep.

If you find yourself feeling frustrated from lack of sleep, becoming aware of your drinking and eating habits or changing your diet may help get you back on track with getting much-needed, restorative rest. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may want to consider switching out your current nighttime drinking and eating habits with new ones:

  1. Do you eat big meals before bedtime? If you generally eat large, high-fat meals before going to bed, they may be interfering with your sleep cycle. Because fatty foods take longer to digest, the process of digestion may keep you up longer than you'd like.
  2. Do you drink caffeine late at night? If you drink coffee or soda, or eat chocolate before bed—within four hours of sleep—the caffeine increases the activity of your nervous system and may affect your sleep.
  3. Do you experience heartburn? If so, avoid heavy or spicy foods late at night. When you lie down to sleep you want to be as comfortable as possible.
  4. Do you drink a lot of fluids before bedtime? If so, that may explain numerous nighttime trips to the bathroom when you should be sleeping.

Drinking and Eating Habits That May Promote Sleep

If you've determined that some of your drinking and eating habits may be affecting your ability to sleep, here are some tips that may help you doze off into dreamland.

  1. If you're hungry right before bedtime eat something small, such as Calcium-rich yogurt with granola or a small bowl of oatmeal.
  2. Try some tryptophan—in moderation! Tryptophan, an amino acid, is used to make serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps provoke sleepiness along with enhancing your mood. Foods that contain tryptophan include Potassium-rich bananas, brown rice, protein-rich chicken, figs, Omega-3-rich halibut and salmon, milk, peas, pumpkin seeds, plain yogurt and tuna, just to name a few.
  3. Drink chamomile tea. Chamomile has natural sedative properties, which can soothe nervous tension.
  4. Add complex carbohydrates into your dinner menus. Barley, buckwheat, millet, quinoa and Vitamin A- and C-rich sweet potatoes all contain complex carbohydrates. Eating foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates helps releases insulin, which is needed to carry tryptophan into the brain.

Getting a good night's sleep helps rejuvenate the mind and body, and the right foods can help promote this vital function.

Disclaimer: In no event shall Bristol Farms, its affiliates and its third party providers be liable to you or any third parties for any illness or damages of any kind, direct or indirect, arising out of, or in any way connected with, your use of the information or recipes provided on, or accessed through, this website. Service provider, its affiliates and its third party providers disclaim any liability, loss or obligation in connection with the content provided on this website. This website, and the recipes and information on this website, are provided strictly "as is" and without warranty of any kind, and should not be construed in any way as medical advice or instruction. Consult the appropriate health professionals before using any of the recipes or information on this