Tips & Trends

Eating Right for Better Sleep

November 5, 2011 by
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese by Chefdruck, on Flickr

With the clocks turning back tonight, we were thinking about sleep, and how important it is. Turning the clocks in either direction is notorious for throwing off people’s sleep cycles. Russia even decided to end daylight savings time this year, arguing that it “is harmful for people’s health and triggers stress”.

While different people cope with the time change in different ways, there are things you can do to help yourself get to sleep, like avoiding too much caffeine or alcohol at night. Most people are aware of these common culprits, and how they impact the body’s ability to get to sleep – but did you know that certain foods can also keep you up at night?

We were sad to see some of our favorites on this list of insomnia-inducing foods from Yahoo Health, including aged cheese, which contains, “high levels of the amino acid tyramine” known to keep you up at night. Other common culprits included smoked meats, tomatoes and tomato-based foods, spicy foods, and (sigh) milk chocolate. On the bright side, however, dark chocolate can actually help you sleep, so feel free to indulge in a small piece of heart-healthy dark chocolate!

What else can help you fall (and stay) asleep at night? Well, we found a great article, Foods That Help You Sleep on Dr. Sears’ website, indicating that carbs are the way to go. However, before you reach for that box of cookies, let us add that complex carbohydrates are the key. In other words, while a slice of whole-grain toast slathered with almond butter will ease you off nicely into dreamland, a slice of chocolate cake is more likely to give you a nice sugar jolt, followed by a release of stress hormones that will be anything but relaxing.

What foods help you get to sleep at night? If you have any tips to share, we’d love to hear from you!

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