Better Food-Sweeter Dreams

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Did you know that the foods you eat can effect the quality of your sleep? It’s true. If you find yourself lying awake long into the night, it could have something to do with what you ate before you went to bed.

This article is being posted at the request of one of my followers, Miles Clements

This woman did NOT eat jalapenos before bed!

One of the worst culprits for keeping people awake at night is cheese. Hard cheese, especially, is higher in saturated fat, making it more challenging to digest. It also increases the risk of heartburn. If you do eat cheese before bedtime, try to delay going to bed to help reduce the chances of acid reflux.

Also, if it’s the calcium you’re craving, try a glass of warm milk instead. This will help you fall asleep pronto, thanks to its tryptophan content.

Chocolate will definitely keep you up at night! If you’re reaching for dessert and probably thinking that half a regular-size bar of dark chocolate is healthier than a slice of cheesecake—and it is. But that chocolate poses more of a threat at bedtime.

“Dark chocolate can be a polyphenol-rich treat, but it’s also a surprising source of caffeine,” says Moon. “It’s common to avoid beverages like coffee or caffeinated tea before bed, but it’s just as important to avoid food sources of this stimulant, which can make it hard to fall and stay asleep,” Moon explains.

A square or two of dark chocolate has about a quarter of the caffeine as a cup of coffee, and about half the caffeine as a cup of green or black tea, Moon says. “Keep in mind that some of us are genetically fast caffeine metabolizers, and others are slow metabolizers—meaning caffeine stays in the body longer and has more side effects. Unless you’re sure you’re a fast metabolizer, stay away from the dark chocolately stuff.

In general, it takes 6 to 10 hours to eliminate caffeine, so that means enjoy a dark chocolate treat no later than noon to four pm for a 10 pm bedtime, she advises. A good alternative is tart cherry juice with a few walnuts. Both provide melatonin to help regulate sleep and promote drowsiness.

Uh oh….

While you may argue that beef is an excellent source of protein and iron, its protein content and saturated fat can wreak havoc on the digestive system. If you eat a burger too close to bedtime, it is likely to make your stomach rumble and keep you awake for hours. Better option is to go with a veggie burger. The quality of the protein is arguably higher, and is much, much easier to digest.

Matcha


Matcha is one of my weaknesses. I drink it copiously, and use it in cooking such sweet delights as mochi balls or matcha cheesecake. The stuff is a green tea powder that is full of healthful antioxidents.

Matcha will definitely keep you awake at night, because a cup of it contains roughly the equivalent of a cup of coffee. Plus, if you eat processed matcha snacks, these can be full of sugar that will give you a wide-awake buzz for hours on end. Avoid it before you go to bed.

Cold Cuts…..(yuck!)


Personally, I don’t understand why ANYONE would eat processed meats. They are HORRIBLE for you. The World Health Organization says they cause cancer, too! These meats are extremely high in sodium, will raise your blood pressure, and will also keep you awake at night. Don’t eat them! Make yourself some garlic-avocado toast instead. Yum.

Citrus fruit

This is a hard one for me to avoid, because I love citrus fruit. I cook with it constantly, and always keep a sliced lemon in my refrigerator so I can squeeze it into my water before I drink it. However, citrus fruit should be avoided near bedtime because it is a diuretic, which will make you urinate more frequently. Just as you’re all snug and warm in your bed, you will have to get up to run to the bathroom if you eat citrus fruits prior to bedtime.

I hope you have found this information to be helpful. I am taking requests for future articles, so if you would like me to address a particular topic, please comment here, or drop me a line and I will be happy to see what I can do. Meanwhile, eat right and have sweet dreams…just like Patsy Cline!

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