What you can and cannot eat before bed: food instead of sleeping pills, what to eat with insomnia

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The clas­sic rules of weight loss diets, as well as most doc­tors, cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly do not rec­om­mend going to bed on a full stom­ach. This will not only ruin dreams and fig­ure, but can also sig­nif­i­cant­ly harm the body: the inabil­i­ty to fall asleep after cer­tain foods leads to sleep dis­tur­bances, adverse­ly affect­ing both phys­i­cal and men­tal health.

Healthy­in­fo explores which foods are def­i­nite­ly worth avoid­ing in the evening, which ones will help you sleep bet­ter, and which snacks can even make you lose weight dur­ing sleep.

Sleep food: why does it work?

Sleep food: why does it work?

Of course, we are not talk­ing about try­ing to eat so much that you will no longer have the strength to get out of bed, and the body will begin to demand max­i­mum ener­gy for diges­tive process­es. We are talk­ing about small por­tions of foods that will help you fall asleep if you eat them almost in bed, no lat­er than 30 min­utes before a date with a pil­low.

The magical properties of tryptophan

Stud­ies show that the amino acid tryp­to­phan is involved in the syn­the­sis of the hor­mone sero­tonin, which helps improve sleep. Tryp­to­phan defi­cien­cy, in turn, pro­vokes a defi­cien­cy of sero­tonin, which dis­rupts the cir­ca­di­an rhythms of sleep and wake­ful­ness. Solu­tion: Enrich your diet with tryp­to­phan-rich foods such as turkey meat, pump­kin seeds, and soy­beans (as well as seafood, nuts, eggs, and milk).

It is also good to add some whole grains to tryp­to­phan-rich meals. Some types of bread, crack­ers, brown rice, pas­ta, com­bined with pro­tein foods (turkey, eggs, low fat dairy prod­ucts) can be an ide­al snack before bed­time. Slow car­bo­hy­drates help tryp­to­phan to be bet­ter absorbed by the body.

And based on research con­duct­ed in 2011, experts rec­om­mend adding a piece of kiwi to this com­bi­na­tion: the antiox­i­dants con­tained in it help neu­ro­trans­mit­ter reg­u­la­tion. So, a slice of whole grain crack­er, fat-free cot­tage cheese or a slice of turkey and kiwi at night will pro­vide a sound and long sleep.

Melatonin — sleep hormone

Mela­tonin is a hor­mone pro­duced by the body, also known as the dark­ness hor­mone. With its lack, a per­son expe­ri­ences prob­lems with falling asleep, sleep dura­tion, often wak­ing up dur­ing the night or get­ting up with the feel­ing that he had not slept at all. A lack of mela­tonin also affects mood, can cause chron­ic fatigue syn­drome and accel­er­ate the aging process.

Nat­ur­al mela­tonin is the main com­po­nent of sleep­ing pills such as Melax­en. How­ev­er, tak­ing pills can be suc­cess­ful­ly replaced with deli­cious snacks. For exam­ple, cher­ry.

Louisiana State Uni­ver­si­ty con­duct­ed a study involv­ing old­er peo­ple: vol­un­teers suf­fer­ing from insom­nia drank 240 ml of nat­ur­al cher­ry juice twice a day. And — slept an aver­age of 85 min­utes longer than those who received a place­bo. As it turned out, cher­ry juice and the berries them­selves are an excel­lent source of mela­tonin. And if the taste of the juice seems too tart, it can be dilut­ed with plain or sparkling water.

Wal­nuts are almost as rich in mela­tonin as cher­ry juice and can be a good replace­ment. One minus: 8 medi­um-sized wal­nuts con­tain 200 kcal, which must be tak­en into account for those who are over­weight.

Magnesium as a natural relaxant

About 70% of the adult pop­u­la­tion is defi­cient in mag­ne­sium. Mean­while, its defi­cien­cy caus­es both insom­nia and mus­cle spasms that can com­pli­cate the process of falling asleep. Stud­ies in old­er adults have shown that reg­u­lar sup­ple­men­ta­tion of mag­ne­sium defi­cien­cy not only helps you sleep longer, but also makes you wake up more eas­i­ly in the morn­ing.

So, what to eat to relax and sleep longer? Let­tuce and avo­ca­dos con­tain a fair­ly large amount of mag­ne­sium. Almonds are also a good source of this min­er­al, both the nuts them­selves and the oil (one tea­spoon of almond oil on a slice of whole grain bread before bed is enough).

Bananas are an excel­lent choice: these fruits con­tain not only mag­ne­sium, but also a lot of tryp­to­phan, vit­a­min B6, as well as car­bo­hy­drates and potas­si­um. And if you mix in a blender or just eat a banana at night along with low-fat milk, then the body will also receive a com­bi­na­tion of vit­a­min D and cal­ci­um. Accord­ing to data pub­lished in the jour­nal Sleep Research, the lack of these sub­stances affects the process­es of falling asleep and the dura­tion of sleep. And their replen­ish­ment improves these process­es by 16% and 17%, respec­tive­ly.

What You Shouldn’t Eat and Drink Before Bed

What You Shouldn't Eat and Drink Before Bed

The rules of con­duct for a long and sound sleep are indi­vid­ual and depend on the indi­vid­ual. How­ev­er, there are sev­er­al sub­stances that inter­fere with almost every­one’s sleep, even if some may dis­agree.

Caffeine

Yes, there are unique peo­ple who fall asleep imme­di­ate­ly after a cup of strong cof­fee. But for most, caf­feine in the evening will only help pro­long bed­time and con­tribute to exces­sive arousal. More­over, caf­feine, which inter­feres with sleep, is found not only in cof­fee: tea, choco­late, ener­gy drinks are also rich in this alka­loid.

A cup of tea before bed is a great habit that experts sup­port. Com­pli­ance with cer­tain rit­u­als facil­i­tates the tran­si­tion to sleep, helps to tune the body in the right way. But if you still have prob­lems falling asleep, you should try replac­ing your usu­al black or green tea with herbal teas with gin­ger or a cup of warm milk.

Alcohol

A clas­sic glass of red wine (or a lit­tle cognac if you’re ner­vous) real­ly helps you feel more sleepy and relaxed. So why not?

Because alco­hol can cause sleep dis­tur­bances, even the pop­u­lar say­ing (“an alco­holic’s sleep is short and unset­tling”) reflects this. The thing is that it inter­feres with the cycles of REM sleep, dur­ing which a per­son usu­al­ly sees dreams and rests. And since the main func­tion of sleep is pre­cise­ly rest and recu­per­a­tion, it turns out that alco­hol, plung­ing the body into a sleepy state, at the same time pre­vents it from recov­er­ing.

High fat meals

We are talk­ing about the very fat­ty food at night, which is opposed by both nutri­tion­ists and gas­troen­terol­o­gists. Som­nol­o­gists, experts who study sleep, also warn that fats inter­fere with sleep dura­tion and can wake up a lover of fried foods, chips or ice cream at dawn.

What would you eat to lose weight?

What would you eat to lose weight?

Of course, we are not talk­ing about a full meal. How­ev­er, the rule “no food after 8 pm” is not relat­ed to time, it lim­its the total calo­rie con­tent of the dai­ly diet. There­fore, it is not so impor­tant what time a per­son eats, it is impor­tant what exact­ly he decid­ed to eat before going to bed.

Research from the Nether­lands will please those who are watch­ing the fig­ure and try­ing to build mus­cle mass: 40 g of casein (for exam­ple, from low-fat dairy prod­ucts) ingest­ed 30 min­utes before bed­time increas­es pro­tein syn­the­sis in mus­cles. True, the effect applies only to those who do not neglect sports and phys­i­cal activ­i­ty.

Pro­tein sup­ple­ments (27.5 g of pro­tein, 15 g of car­bo­hy­drates, 0.1 g of fat) have the same effect. Tak­en at bed­time for 12 weeks, they result­ed in increased mus­cle mass com­pared to place­bo.

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Of course, we are talk­ing about nutri­tion­al sup­ple­ments and peo­ple involved in sports for health or to lose weight. How­ev­er, research data con­firms that if a per­son eats sen­si­bly dur­ing the day, there is no rea­son to go to bed on an emp­ty stom­ach. Some foods will help you fall asleep, oth­ers will help you sleep longer, and even, accord­ing to experts, wake up with­out the bru­tal desire to eat any­thing harm­ful.

By Yraa

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