Only one in 10 of us say we get a good night’s sleep. The rest of us probably have some sort of trouble sleeping. Taking a look at what and when you eat before bed could work wonders
Trouble sleeping affects almost everyone at some point, and can have serious effects. Studies have found that too little and poor quality sleep can lead to illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and depression. It can also affect your immune system and contribute to weight gain.
You might not get woken up by screaming babies or errant teens nowadays, but it can still be hard to make sure you get the right number of hours. Taking good care of yourself can improve your sleep pattern however one way is to eat the right foods. Making a late-night snack of sleep-enhancing foods and ensuring that you stay away from stimulants can make all the difference to getting a better night’s sleep.Drink warm milk
It’s not just an old wives’ tale that a glass of warm milk will help you sleep better. As well as being comforting, dairy products are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which helps produce two sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain, serotonin and melatonin.Sleep-friendly snacks
Also high in tryptophan and on the approved list for pre-bed snacking are yoghurt, oats, bananas, poultry, eggs, peanuts and tuna.Tea for two
Herbal teas, including camomile, valerian and passion flower tea, can also have a sedative effect: trying brewing a cup shortly before bed as a calming night time ritual.No cheese please
The old wives were right about cheese, too: it’s a bad idea before bedtime. Cheese contains an amino acid called tyramine. The body converts it to noradrenaline, a stimulant, which is likely to give you a restless night. Steer clear of potatoes, aubergines, tomatoes, pork, chocolate and wine before bed for the same reason.Be prepared
You can’t just rely on what you consume, though. Making the right preparations for bed is just as important. Try these:
• Get some exercise and fresh air during the day: tiring yourself out is a great way to ensure you’ll be sleepy at bedtime.
• Make sure your bedroom is the right temperature: keeping your head cool is conducive to sleep so experts suggest a temperature of 18°C.
• Turn electronic screens well before lights out, and then relax, ready for a blissful slumber.