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Posted by admin in Prescription Sleep Medicine on September 01st, 2010
You’ve no doubt heard to avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime, because they might affect your ability to sleep well. However, most people don’t know just how important food is for sleep.
If you think about it, it makes sense. We put food into our bodies every day, and the nutrients in that food are what keep us going; food determines to a large degree whether we are healthy or not and how we feel. If you’re not healthy because you haven’t been eating well, you may feel tired and lacking in energy and yet sleeping won’t come easy.
Just the amount of food you eat makes a difference. Going to bed on a full stomach may make you feel sleepy, but it actually disrupts your sleep because your digestive system is being forced to work harder than it normally would during periods of rest. Unrelated to insomnia, going to bed on a full stomach can encourage weight gain as well, because your body can’t digest as well.
It is best to have more smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. If this isn’t possible, try to prevent dinner from being the biggest and heaviest meal on most days. A lighter dinner such as a stir fry will satisfy your hunger and help you sleep.
If it’s closer to bedtime and you’re feeling hungry, there are snacks you can try which may help you get to sleep. Keep in mind that it’s best to avoid eating less than an hour before bed. Warm milk, tea and honey, fruit or whole grain cereal are great snacks which won’t stress your digestive system before bed, meaning you’ll go to sleep feeling satisfied.
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