Foods to avoid before bed

July 12, 2012 2:03:04 PM PDT
Sometimes what we eat or drink before bedtime can lead to a lousy night's sleep.

What are the worst offenders? For many of us anything with caffeine can keep us up, but alcohol can also make you toss and turn.

Even though it may make us feel as if it puts us to sleep initially, it's going to disrupt the quality of sleep later on in the night.

Another thing to avoid is a large meal of any kind.

Our bodies are meant to be quiet at night and if our bodies have to digest a high fat, high protein, high fiber meal, it may mitigate the quality of sleep.

High protein foods tend to make us more sharp and alert, not what you want when you want to go to sleep. Another sleep buster is foods with lots of sugar.

Sugary foods may give our bodies an initial burst of energy and keep us more alert and stimulated, but eating a light snack of about 200 calories that contains tryptophan may help. Tryptophan boosts melatonin levels in the brain which can help promotes good quality sleep.

The snack should include a small amount of protein and a carbohydrate. Here are some examples:

  • Warm milk and a low-fat cookie or fruit
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • A small serving of popcorn
  • A small bowl of low-fat, low sugar cereal

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