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Your Diet: Eat Well to Sleep Well

Last updated 3 years ago

Every person’s sleep needs are different, but ideally, you should be achieving between seven to nine hours of sleep each night. If you tend to feel tired and irritable when you wake up, you’re either receiving too little or too much sleep. Your body naturally produces chemicals to help you sleep through the night, but your diet can either enhance your sleep process or prevent you from achieving restful sleep.  

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Drinking small amounts of alcohol at night can help you feel sleepy, but your sleep becomes fragmented as your body metabolizes alcohol. If you already suffer from insomnia, drinking alcohol can make your symptoms worse and can also interrupt rapid eye movement sleep—your body’s restorative sleep phase. Drinking too much alcohol can also lead to dehydration, which will make you feel even more tired the next day.

Avoid Caffeine before Bed

Even though some people can easily fall asleep after consuming caffeine, any food or beverage with caffeine can potentially disrupt your sleep cycle. In fact, many older adults who suffer from insomnia report high caffeine consumption. Whether or not your sleep cycle will be affected depends on your sensitivity to caffeine. If you are easily affected by caffeine, you should avoid drinking or eating anything with caffeine in the afternoon and evening.

Drink Milk and Honey

Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan, which helps your body fall asleep by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. Drinking a warm glass of milk with a teaspoon of honey can help you fall asleep; the sugar in the honey will help the tryptophan enter your brain. Eating a banana can also help you fall asleep because bananas contain vitamin B6, which helps convert tryptophan to serotonin.  

Sleep Services of Maryland has more than 20 years of experience helping patients overcome their sleep disorders. Our goal is to help you find ways to restore your energy in a comfortable, convenient environment. To learn more about our sleep disorder treatments, contact us at (240) 912-4683.


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