Diet and Sleep
Your daytime eating habits play a role in how well you sleep, especially in the hours before bedtime.
- Limit caffeine and nicotine. You might be surprised to know that caffeine can cause sleep problems up to ten to twelve hours after drinking it! Similarly, smoking is another stimulant that can disrupt your sleep, especially if you smoke close to bedtime.
- Avoid big meals at night. Try to make dinnertime earlier in the evening, and avoid heavy, rich foods within two hours of bed. Spicy or acidic foods can cause stomach trouble and heartburn.
- Avoid alcohol before bed. While a nightcap may help you relax, it interferes with your sleep cycle once you’re out.
- Avoid drinking too many liquids in the evening. Drinking lots of fluids may result in frequent bathroom trips throughout the night.
Nighttime snacks can help you sleep
For some people, a light snack before bed can help promote sleep. For others, eating before bed can lead to indigestion and make sleeping more difficult. If you need a bedtime snack, try:
- Half a turkey sandwich
- A small bowl of whole-grain, low-sugar cereal
- Granola with milk or yogurt
- A banana
Overall, eating a healthy balanced diet will improve your well being and improve your sleep. Eat heavy foods at breakfast and lighter foods before bed. Eating several smaller meals instead of 3 large meals can also be helpful.