Sleeping enough is of utter importance for our health. If we do not get around 7-8 hours of sleep on a regular basis, our health is going to suffer from it. So the question arises; how can we make sure we get enough sleep on a regular basis? Unfortunately just laying in bed in time sometimes just doesn't seal the deal. There are a lot of factors that play into the equation... The environment, the mindset and yes, also the food we have in our bodies when we are trying to get some rest. Food plays an important role when it comes to quality sleep, believe it or not! In this article we will shine some light on sleep in general and what effect different kinds of foods can have in that matter.
There are some common facts, which are known by the most of us. Caffeine, for example, never is a good idea if you will be trying to sleep anytime soon. There are studies suggesting that caffeine still has effects 8-12 hours after the initial intake! And you should also be aware that caffeine is in many products and not only in actual coffee... some sodas, ice creams, chocolates, medication, teas and other products do also contain caffeine!
Another very bad idea, if you are looking for quality sleep, is alcohol. Alcohol can make you fall asleep easier, true that, but it has also got a negative effect on your actual sleep because it has an effect on the brain and therefore leads to sleep cycles with insufficient REM (rapid eye movement) phases. These phases are essential for making sleep effective!
Candy and other foods with high sugars contents tend to make you feel jittery, so, you guessed it, they are also to be avoided before bedtime.
To attain a restful sleep, the body needs to cool down from its normal daytime running temperature. So it is advisable to sleep in a totally dark and rather cool room to get the most effective sleep. Fatty foods and foods high in protein contents cause the body to heat up while they are being digested, therefore they should also be avoided before going to bed. Also, bear in mind that the body doesn't digest as effectively while sleeping. This leads to poorer digestion and more fat being stored in the body. When you go to bed, it's a good idea to have a relatively empty stomach. Of course, you feel hungry neither is the solution, but overeating before heading to bed is definitely never a good idea – it is a big factor for many people's weight problems, so you should consider the timing of your food intake!
Staying hydrated is essential. It is suggested to drink around 1.5litres of water per day. But if you drink those 1.5litres just before going to bed... well... you can be sure that you'll be up one or two times that night to head to the bathroom. So, try to intake a steady amount of water throughout the day and don't drink too much just before going to bed.
Basically, you want to slow your body and mind down before transitioning into the sleeping state. Therefore it's not a good idea to force it with new tasks, such as excessive thinking, digestion and so forth, before going to sleep. Try to calm your mind by listening to some music, having a relaxing read or engaging in some calm conversation. If you are looking for really healthy sleep, bright screens should also be avoided a few hours before bedtime.
Some medical experts suggest having a workout around 3 hours prior to the aimed sleeping time. This can make falling asleep much easier because the body and mind will be relaxed and hungry for recovery after the exercise. But again, it only makes sense if you also plan in some time to relax before heading to bed. Working out and directly going to sleep is not the best idea...
A regular sleeping schedule can be one of the most beneficial factors for a good sleeping pattern. So you should try to train your body to go to sleep at a certain time and to wake up at a certain time. This is crucial for a regular and healthy sleep!
Meditation is also a great exercise to do before going to sleep. It slows down the mind and clears it of the thoughts that have been accumulated during the day. Maybe our sleep is just a very, very deep meditation. So, if you have problems falling asleep, try some meditation first – it might help you!
We hope that you found some helpful information in this article and wish you a relaxing, soothing and peaceful sleep. Good night!