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Foods To Help You Get A Better Night Sleep

  • By Pip Taylor
  • Published Jan 19, 2012
  • Updated Jan 19, 2012 at 7:38 PM UTC

Sleep Deterrents

Stimulants: Avoid the obvious ones such as coffee, caffeinated teas and energy drinks.

Alcohol (in excess): Many people think that alcohol improves sleep. You may pass out from excessive drinking, but your sleep is not restful. Alcohol acts as a stimulant several hours after drinking it, and even if you don’t wake up, you are not getting the full restorative benefits of a good night’s sleep. Stick to a drink or two at most.

Hyper-hydration: Drinking too much fluid before bed is often a trap for athletes who are trying to make sure they are hydrated the night before a big race. You’ll be making bathroom trips all night while flushing out essential electrolytes.

Timing, amount and types of food: Don’t eat right before you go to bed—this is especially important if you suffer from reflux or heartburn. Instead, give yourself at least an hour or more before lying down.

Avoid eating a large meal that’s heavy in fats and proteins or overly spicy. These foods are harder to digest, and although large meals might make you sleepy immediately, slow or difficult digestion means disturbed and lower-quality sleep.

But don’t go to bed overly hungry—a growling stomach and hunger pains do not make for a restful night. If you really need a snack after dinner, eat something small and preferably containing tryptophan, such as a warm glass of milk. (Grandma may have been right after all.)

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