Often the late night munchies get the best of us, but it’s important to ensure that the foods we consume don’t affect our sleep. Many believe that the key to getting a good night’s rest is to turn off all electronics and go to bed early, but it’s often overlooked that the types of food we consume can affect our sleep as well.
Milk contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps to produce serotonin. Serotonin is a precursor to melatonin, which is the hormone that helps regulate sleep. So drinking milk and eating other tryptophan-fish foods will improve the quality of your sleep.
As for your dreams? The British Cheese Board found a link between eating dairy before bed and a better ability to recall your dreams the next morning in a 2005 study.
Cereal & Breads
Carbs can help you fall asleep, not only because they boost serotonin and tryptophan in the brain, but because they create a blood sugar spike that can make you sleepy afterwards.
Clean carbs can give your body glucose, helping sugar levels while you sleep. It’s why cereal and milk make such a good bedtime snack.
While evidence between foods and their effect on your dreams is lacking, low blood sugar can definitely trigger changes in brain chemistry during the night, which may cause weird dreams.
Cherries contain melatonin, which we know can help regulate our sleep and improve the quality and depth of it. But eating too many can also produce vivid dreams and even nightmares in people who are sensitive to melatonin.
Whatever you eat before bed will begin digestion during the night. Spicy food before bed can give you heartburn, and disrupt your sleep as you tax your digestive system.
And if your digestive system is working overtime, your dreams will be affected, according to Dr. Charles Bae, M.D., a sleep medicine doctor at Sleep Disorders Centre at the Cleveland Clinic in an NBC news interview.
Bananas are a good carb to help make you sleepy. They also contain magnesium and potassium, which act as a natural muscle-relaxants, making you comfy and ready for bed
A light snack of pistachios can help you sleep well because of their magnesium and B6 content. Pistachios are also a good form of protein, and can help ward off hunger at night, which is another common reason for restlessness.
Speaking of nuts, almonds are rich in tryptophan and magnesium, a great combo for getting you to bed fast and helping you stay asleep. A small handful of almonds is all you need in your bedtime routine to see some improvements.