Can’t Sleep? Blame Your Dinner

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Whether you doze off easily only to awaken in the middle of the night and remain restless… or you can’t sleep at all right from the start, the inability to get a good night’s sleep can affect the outcome of your entire day. As a MilSpouse, you can hardly afford that — you’ve got a military family counting on you, after all!

The good news is that Alisa from NestMaven.com has assembled a treasure trove of tips to help send you off to Dreamland. It all starts with what you eat. We’ve got the gist of her tips below to get you started.


12 Foods to Swap at Dinner
to Improve Your Sleep

CoffeeCup

Instead of COFFEE drink HERBAL TEA

Why? The way our bodies process caffeine causes it to stay in our system much longer than we realize. Chamomile tea helps you relax, it induces sleep, and it can calm an upset stomach.


Men with Beer

Instead of ALCOHOL drink TART CHERRY JUICE

Why? Cherry juice is a natural source of melatonin.
Drinking 2 glasses a day can increase your sleep time by 1-1/2 hours.


Pink Ice Cream

Instead of ICE CREAM eat LOW-FAT YOGURT

Why? Dairy products contain tryptophan, and the building blocks for serotonin and calcium induce sleep. The probiotics can also improve digestion, leading to more restful sleep.


Red Meat

Instead of RED MEAT eat FISH

Why? Salmon, cod, tuna and halibut are excellent sources of vitamin B6,

which increases the production of sleep hormones.


Chili Sauce

Instead of HOT SAUCE FOR DINNER, eat EARLIER IN THE DAY

Why? Eating spicy foods earlier in the day will give your body time to recover from their effects.


Pasta Sauce

Instead of TOMATO SAUCE eat BASIL PESTO

Why? Basil has a calming effect on the body.


Round Candies

Instead of CANDY eat HONEY

Why? Honey’s natural sweetness will not raise your blood sugar as high, and it had the additional benefit of improving tryptophan’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.


Broccoli

Instead of BROCCOLI eat KALE

Why? Kale’s dark, leafy green is high in folate and calcium, both of which promote sleep.


Dark Chocolate

Instead of DARK CHOCOLATE eat WHITE CHOCOLATE

Why? White chocolate contain neither theobromine that’s in real chocolate,
nor a large amount of caffeine.


Hard Cheeses

Instead of AGED CHEESE eat COTTAGE CHEESE

Why? Cottage cheese contains casein, a protein that helps keep hunger cravings away,
plus tryptophan that increases sleepiness.


Orange Salad

Instead of CITRUS FRUIT eat BANANAS

Why? The potassium and magnesium in bananas act as muscle relaxants, making it easier for you to get comfortable at night. And bananas contain both tryptophan and melatonin that help induce sleep.


Beans

Instead of BEANS eat CHICKPEAS

Why? Chickpeas are easier for the stomach to break down and they contain high levels of vitamin B6 which will help you fall asleep faster.


5 Pre-Bedtime Snacks That Can Help You Fall Asleep Even Faster:

Magnesium & Potassium:
Bananas
Sweet Potatoes
Dried Apricots
Pumpkin Seeds
Spinach

Tryptophan:
Milk
Eggs
Chia Seeds
Lentils
Soy

Vitamin B6:
Whole Grain Bread
Hummus
Pistachios
Tuna
Bell Peppers

Theanine:
Tea

Melatonin:
Tart Cherries
Pineapple
Bananas
Oats
Walnuts


For a closer look into the foods that you should be eating before bedtime, read NestMaven’s 5 Best Foods to Eat Before Bed.

And if you’d like more details on what you should not eat before bed, read NestMaven’s 12 Foods That Are Keeping You Awake at Night.


What’s your favorite pre-bedtime treat that helps you drift off to Dreamland? Let us know in the comments below, or share your story.

What is Clean Eating?

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