It seems it is always being discovered that there is something new that affects a person’s sleep. With everything factored in, can a person still manage to get a decent night’s sleep at all?

Food and drink is one area that can be managed to promote good sleep, and what we eat and drink can either promote or hinder it.

Does What You Eat and Drink Really Impact Your Sleep

Here is what you need to know about how what you consume affects your night of sleep.

Eat a Small Snack

There are few things that make it more difficult to sleep than a rumbling belly. If you are feeling hungry in the evening hours, be sure to grab a snack before bed.

Research shows that when we indulge in a small, healthy snack, our body will use the hormone leptin to suppress secretion of another hormone called ghrelin.

This signals that it is satisfied. If we go to bed hungry, then ghrelin will keep us awake, wanting to eat.

But Not Too Much, or Too Soon

Modesty in snacking is important, because if you eat too much right before bed it can be just as bad as not eating enough. Eating too much, too close to bedtime can aggravate gastro-esophageal reflux disease and make you very uncomfortable while sleeping.

Because your digestive system slows down while eating, you may wake feeling uncomfortable and bloated the next morning and even throughout the night.

When it comes to a heavy meal, eat it at least four hours before heading to bed.

Choose Foods Rich in Carbohydrates

If you are hoping to have a peaceful sleep, you will want to reach for carbohydrates before bed. Avoid those made with white flour, and instead choose whole grains.

Some carbohydrates are loaded with tryptophan and this promotes good sleep.

Avoid heavy protein, although it is ok to have a small handful of nuts or a bit of yogurt along with your carbohydrates.

Limit Caffeine in the Hours before Bed

Caffeine, being a stimulant, is a poor choice when you are already experiencing sleep difficulties. If you have serious problems falling asleep, it would be wise to cut caffeine out of your lifestyle as completely as possible.

If you choose to consume some, then stick to indulging in the morning. Don’t forget hidden sources of caffeine, such as chocolate and soda.

Limit Alcohol

Drinking alcohol has very few benefits. One reason not to indulge too much is because of the effect it may have on your sleep patterns.

Drinking too much before bedtime will cause your body to skip REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and will make you go right into deep sleep instead.

As the alcohol wears off, you may wake up more easily and only complete one or two cycles of REM sleep instead of the usual six or seven.

This is why people often feel exhausted after a night of drinking, even when they have slept for a lengthy amount of time.

Cut Back on Sugar

Sugar is not a high-quality choice at any time. Sugar affects a person’s quality of sleep by causing the blood sugar levels to swing upward and then fall rapidly. Avoid this by keeping your sugar intake under the recommended amount.

A good night’s sleep is not as hard to come by as it sounds.

If you follow these guidelines on what to eat and drink, sleep will no longer be as elusive as it once seemed. Get a handle on what you consume, and you will find yourself getting the great sleep you wish for.

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