Can Your Food Habits Spoil Your Sleep?

How we think is one way of looking at whether or not there is a cure for insomnia. The old saying ‘if you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.’ So many of our sleeping habits are controlled by the day-to-day minutiae of our lives. The treatments or possible cures for insomnia come in several forms. The primary cure is to have a close look at your lifestyle, your life, your family, and friends. These unbeknown to an individual impact on private thoughts and cause tensions that leave you wondering why you feel as you do, with no obvious answer. The ‘can’t put your finger on why you feel as you do’ feeling.

Something that is overlooked I believe is the effect that diets or foods have on the amount or quality of sleep an individual gets. Having taken considerably more interest in foods of late, it has become apparent to me that what I eat appears to affect how well I sleep. In the course of endeavoring to lose weight, I noticed how much better I slept at night after dining out with family. The foods of the meal I considered, given that everything else was the same, had to be the reason.

Research has shown that some foods have more Tryptophan or melatonin in them than others. Tryptophan is an amino acid that assists in the production of serotonin or melatonin. These two hormones play a part in assisting the body to relax or sleep. Foods that have increased amounts of tryptophan are beef, cherries, yogurt, bananas, and milk. We all know the old recipe for inducing sleep is that of hot milk and honey. This has been passed down the generations because it is believed to work. The previous generations certainly did not know about chemicals and hormones in those days, but they obviously got it right, milk is indeed one of the high tryptophan foods so they were right!

Avoiding these foods before going to bed could assist in sleeping. The likes of alcohol, coffee, and heavy meals ate an hour or so before going to bed are at the top of the list. I try to avoid coffee after three in the afternoon, keeping the daily intake to three cups a day. Whether it helps or not there is no definitive answer but it all comes down to the power of the mind. People like eating chocolate and sweets in front of the television during the evening. This is not a good idea if you want a good night’s sleep. The foods contain sugar or sugar derivatives; sugar is an energy giving substance. It is not the ideal substance to be ingesting before bed no matter how much you love it! After spending the day watching your foods and including those considered to help insomnia, give your self a chance, try a warm bath an hour before bedtime and drink the warm milk and honey. Clear your mind of the day’s stresses and enjoy a good nights sleep!