Anyone who’s ever tried to sleep on an empty stomach will know that it is ten times harder to get some shut-eye if you are hungry. As you lie awake dreaming about huge plates of pasta and BLT sandwiches, your belly starts rumbling which confuses your metabolism and sends out signals to the body which can lead to a restless sleep.
But reaching for a midnight snack can actually make the problem worse.
Studies have shown that eating during the night is directly correlated with negative effects on the quality of sleep, as the disruption to the sleep pattern in turn affects the metabolic system. The study also found that having a late dinner can also impact on your sleep, so try to keep meal times to between 6-8pm and maintain a regular bedtime routine to keep your body working at its optimum levels.
However, not all snacks are bad for sleep. Some are great for promoting a relaxing night’s rest, so if you are hungry before you go to bed, try having one of the following snacks;
Cherries are known for being rich in melatonin, the chemical our bodies need to get a good night’s sleep. Studies have shown that drinking two glasses of cherry juice a day can alleviate the symptoms of insomnia.
An all-round superfood, bananas contain large amounts of tryptophan, potassium and magnesium which help to put the body into a calm and relaxed state.
Nuts are another great source of magnesium. Try a handful of cashews or peanuts before you go to bed, or even better, almonds. Almonds also contain a high amount of calcium which works with the magnesium to convert tryptophan to the all-important sleep inducing chemical melatonin.
- Whole grains
A source of magnesium, whole grains also contain vital B vitamins which help the body to absorb tryptophan from your diet. Your body cannot produce tryptophan, so it is important to get it from a variety of food sources.
Chickpeas contain plenty of vitamin B6 which the body needs in order to produce melatonin.
Vitamin B6 appears again in almost all types of fish. This helps to produce melatonin and put the body into a sleepy state.
You might think that porridge is best saved for the morning, but oats are rich in melatonin so you might want to try having a bowl in the evening instead. Oats also raise blood sugar levels naturally which makes the body feel sleepy.
Having sugar before bed seems counterintuitive, however a small amount of honey can help to turn your brain off. The glucose sends a signal to shut down production of orexin, which is the chemical responsible for our alertness.
- Dark chocolate
A great source of serotonin, dark chocolate sends out relaxing signals to the brain and boost melatonin production.
Not only do eggs contain large amounts of protein, they are also great sources of tryptophan.
If you would like to find out more about how REM-Fit sleep monitoring technology can help you to get a better night’s rest, please get in touch with our experienced, knowledgeable staff by calling 020 8731 0020 or email us via firstname.lastname@example.org.