By changing the diet, you can not only correct the figure, but also prevent and treat certain diseases, as well as influence the quality of sleep and the process of falling asleep. Many people know for themselves that eating certain foods and drinks in the evening can lead to restless sleep and even insomnia, while certain cereals, fruits or vegetables, drinks help to sleep better. Is there a special diet that helps treat and prevent insomnia? What is the best dinner for those who have trouble falling asleep?
Nutrition basics: what to choose for dinner?
Based on what kind of food is supposed to be for dinner, it is important to know for what period of time before going to bed it is worth consuming certain foods. Whether it be dishes with legumes, pasta with various sauces or dishes with meat, such food should be consumed at least 4–6 hours before bedtime, otherwise it will not be fully absorbed and lead to discomfort in the intestines, which will prevent you from falling asleep soundly. If you plan to have fish or poultry (skinless chicken or turkey), dishes with potatoes, eggs or cereals for dinner, you should wait about 3–4 hours before bedtime so that all the food that has entered the body is fully absorbed. 1–2 hours before bedtime, you can eat food for dinner that contains sour-milk dishes and products — kefir, yogurt, cottage cheese products, as well as all kinds of fruits — oranges, apples, bananas, pears. You need to be careful with grapes, it can lead to bloating.
Diet to improve sleep
There is a certain set of products, the use of which for dinner can help in falling asleep and normalizing the quality of sleep. So, a sleepy diet should include:
- Turkey in boiled, stewed or otherwise. This meat contains increased amounts of tryptophan, an amino acid that has anti-stress effects on the body and helps to calm down, fall asleep peacefully and sleep well.
- Whole milk. Many people remember from childhood how their grandmothers gave them a mug of warm milk before going to bed to calm down and sleep well. The purely psychological effect of a warm drink, which has a relaxing effect, and the presence of the same tryptophan in milk also work. To enhance the effect, you can add a spoonful of honey to milk, which has the ability to extinguish nervous overexcitation.
- The addition of fish dishes (mackerel, salmon or herring) to the diet will improve sleep, due to the content of omega acids they help to fall asleep faster, and the sleep itself is made calmer and stronger.
- The diet should be enriched with cereals in the form of cereals. In cereals, a large supply of magnesium, which helps in relaxing tired muscle fibers, relieves nervous excitement. The most useful among all is oatmeal, it contains stimulants for the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for the onset of sleep.
- A baked potato taken a couple of hours before bed helps in the absorption of the amino acid tryptophan.
If you make a diet in such a way that some of these foods or dishes are included in the dinner menu, you can have a positive effect on sleep.
What causes sleep disturbance?
There is a whole group of foods and dishes that can impair sleep if consumed in the evening. So, do not abuse sweets, they strain the pancreas and provoke fermentation processes in the intestines.
- Nutrition with tyramine, which stimulates the production of stress hormones — adrenaline and norepinephrine, which provoke insomnia. Such products include cheeses — moldy and hard varieties.
- Strong alcoholic drinks taken in excess and provoking intoxication and poisoning of the body, as well as pulling on feats. Alcohol disrupts sleep phases, which disrupts the supply of oxygen to the brain during sleep, which leads to headaches.
- Coffee, tea and caffeinated drinks — due to the stimulating effect of the latter on the nervous system, they can deprive you of sleep for a long time.
- Chocolate because of the high amount of sugar, calories and content of the tonic compound — theobromine. The more chocolate you eat, the worse your sleep will be.
- Fatty meats, butter, lard and other fatty foods that are difficult to digest. The use of such dishes leads to a malfunction of the body’s biological clock, due to which nutrition processes are controlled, as well as a change in the “sleep and wakefulness” cycles. In animal experiments, scientists have shown that if you eat a lot of fat before bedtime, the mechanism for triggering sleep processes is confused, which leads to insomnia.
Healthy vegetables: what you need to know
Undoubtedly, vegetables and dishes with them for dinner will help you sleep better, but this is taking into account that they are chosen correctly and are not dangerous to health. Nitrate fruits can, if consumed in excess, lead to poisoning and digestive disorders, and instead of a bed, a person will have to spend the night in the toilet. The least hazardous compounds are found in vegetables such as onions, tomatoes and eggplants. Cucumbers, cabbage, peppers are more dangerous, so it is important to cook vegetables properly, especially if they are bought out of season. It is necessary to cut off their tail and stalk, remove the skin, and for cabbage — a layer of upper leaves. Vegetables stored in the cellars are less dangerous in terms of nitrates than those bought on the market, and when fermented, all nitrates go into the brine.
Fruits, berries for dinner
In terms of nitrates, certain types of fruits and berries are also dangerous, especially watermelons with melons, also bought out of season. In addition, processing for long-term storage with various compounds is also relevant for fruits. When buying, you need to meticulously inspect them so that there is not a single damage. If these are not local and seasonal fruits, you should wash them thoroughly with a brush in hot water, or cut off the peel.
Fruits such as bananas will be useful for sleep, they have a lot of sugar, useful for nourishing cells, potassium and magnesium. No less useful are apples and plums, which normalize digestion and give a feeling of lightness. You can supplement the diet with dried fruits eaten 2–3 hours before going to bed along with yogurt or cottage cheese. This dish will help to fill you up, deliver useful minerals and protein to the body, and also contribute to the absorption of tryptophan, which is necessary for sound sleep.