Alaska Sleep Education Center

Leverage Nutrition to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Posted by Mikkie Mills on Sep 1, 2020 6:25:00 AM

Pretty woman presenting a cloud of healthy nutritional vegetables concept

Many of us struggle with sleep, finding ourselves feeling exhausted and depleted during our days. Our quality and quantity of sleep are certainly the culprits in many cases; however, you may not be aware of influential factors. If you are unaware of how much our nutrition and diet affect your slumbers, consider these tips for how you can better utilize food in your favor to achieve a better night’s rest.

Fuel for Physical Exercise

Exercising during the daytime can help you fall asleep and achieve a better-regulated sleep cycle at night; however, a lack of proper fuel can also affect your sleep. Our bodies must have the energy necessary to participate in and recover from exercises, but don’t worry though, you can find the right combination without breaking the bank. Supplements like high impact endurance coupon can help you achieve the state that you need without stressing you out at night, keeping you from falling asleep.

Water

Staying hydrated is an important component of living a healthy life; however, many of us struggle with keeping up with the level of hydration necessary. This can be particularly true for those who exercise. There are few things more jarring than waking up in the middle of the night due to a Charlie horse cramp. While you don’t want to overload your body with liquids, you also need to stay hydrated to achieve a good night’s sleep and avoid overnight cramping.

Caffeine

For those who struggle with sleepiness, caffeine is often a key resource. When you’re feeling exhausted and tired, caffeine can help you perk up and get through the day; however, this also plays a counterintuitive role and can keep you up at the wrong time. This can be particularly troublesome for those who have anxiety or distracting thoughts which can be exacerbated by caffeine. During the day, try drinking a glass of cold water or getting up and moving around for a minute instead. While you may feel more alert during the day, the caffeine can stay in your body longer than you may realize and keep you from falling asleep or having restorative slumbers.

Alcohol

Similarly to caffeine, alcohol is another item that we have to be mindful of when having issues with sleep. For many people, alcohol causes feelings of drowsiness; however, it can also disrupt our natural sleep patterns and increase our likelihood of waking up exhausted. Instead of topping off your evening with a glass of wine or beer, opt for a nice cup of warm, herbal tea that can leave you feeling relaxed and ready for bed instead of drowsy and then unable to sleep soundly and restoratively.

Amounts of Fluids

Many of us drink liquids before bed; however, if you have ever found yourself waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, it may be time to reevaluate your nightly routine. If you are consuming a significant amount of fluids before bedtime, consider spacing that out further, drinking all fluids at least 2 hours before bedtime and consuming very little right before bed. This can ensure that you are hydrated but reduce the likelihood of the fluids waking you through the evening.

Midnight Snacks

For those who wake up during the middle of the night, you need to avoid that temptation to snack. Not only does a snack wake up your digestive system and signal to your body that it may be time to get moving, but it also can make it harder for you to fall asleep. Despite the urge to enjoy that midnight snack uninterrupted, resist the urge and don’t give your body fuel that it does not need. Instead, hold off until the morning and stick to normal eating schedules.

Desserts

For those who enjoy a delicious dessert at the end of dinner, make sure that you are mindful of timing. Desserts are often foods that are full of sugar and a level of richness that make them truly delectable; however, these key qualities that make our desserts mouthwatering also can keep us up at night. Desserts should be at least 2 hours away from bedtime. You can still enjoy your dessert, but if it is closer to bedtime it may be better to opt for something lighter or save it for another day.

Acidic and Spicy Foods

Delicious flavor profiles that delight our mouths can also play a key role in keeping us awake at night. Consuming bold flavors that can be found in spicy and acidic foods can excite your taste buds, but they can also trigger digestive difficulties like heartburn. For those with heartburn, it is recommended to avoid rich, bold and acidic flavors, but this is even more important close to bedtime. Lying down can allow your stomach’s acid to rise and disrupt your sleep cycles, so leave your bolder flavors earlier in the day so that acidic reflux and heartburn don’t disrupt your sleep.

Nicotine

Products that contain nicotine have long been denounced for their negative side effects on physical health and addiction; however, sleep is another reason why you should be avoiding this. Nicotine, much like caffeine, is a stimulant. While a late-night cigarette may be a part of your normal routine, make sure that you time their use at least a few hours before bedtime or if you can, quit as soon as humanly possible.

Calming Agents

While there are many foods out there that contain ingredients that can keep you from falling asleep or achieving a restful night’s sleep, there are also foods and ingredients that can help you fall asleep. Everything from chamomile tea to tryptophan in turkey to certain nuts can positively affect your sleep. While these are not guarantees, there have been positive correlations between their use and sleep.

Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone that our bodies naturally produce that helps regulate our sleep; however, you can also take it as a supplement. While you may not want to take these supplements over a long period, you may find that there are significant benefits for short-term use. This can be particularly beneficial for those who have difficulties falling and staying asleep, regulating a disturbed sleep schedule or those suffering from jet lag.

Food and what we consume can play a massive role in our sleep quantity and quality. If you are struggling with regulating your slumbers, there are many steps that you can take in your daily life by altering your diet and nutrition. You can take back control of your snoozing and enjoy better sleep if you find the right adjustments to your diet, so don’t wait another moment suffering through sleep.

A good quality sleep may seem difficult to come by, but tweaking your diet is one of the very best ways to achieve this. Avoiding the food that keeps you awake and restless, and adding foods that promote a healthy sleep cycle will have you falling asleep peacefully in no time.

For all your sleep troubles, Alaska Sleep Clinic has a blog with answers you are looking for to your health questions. Sign up to receive ASC's daily sleep blog below. Our website received over 5 million visits last year alone, making www.AlaskaSleep.com one of the top 5 sites in the world for sleep education.

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