Foundation, NJ U. S. A
the Message Continues ...
for June 2010
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Foods That Help
or Harm Your Sleep
Eat Affects How You Sleep
If you could pick the right foods to help you
get the best sleep possible, wouldn’t you? And
if you knew which foods would hinder your
restful slumber, wouldn’t you avoid them? Now’s
your chance to learn which foods to eat, and
which to steer clear of for a good night’s
We’ve all heard of warm milk’s magical ability
to send us off to dreamland. Do you know why
it’s true? Dairy foods contain tryptophan, which
is a sleep-promoting substance. Other
tryptophan-containing foods include poultry,
bananas, oats, and honey.
Your Craving for Carbs
Carbohydrate-rich foods complement dairy foods
by increasing the level of sleep-inducing
tryptophan in the blood. So a few perfect late
night snacks to get you snoozing might include a
bowl of cereal and milk, yogurt and crackers, or
bread and cheese.
Snack Before Bedtime
If you struggle with insomnia, a little food in
your stomach may help you sleep. But don’t use
this as an open invitation to pig out. Keep the
snack small. A heavy meal will tax your
digestive system, making you uncomfortable and
unable to get soothing ZZZs.
the Burger and Fries!
As if you needed another reason to avoid
high-fat foods, research shows that people who
often eat high-fat foods not only gain weight,
they also experience a disruption of their sleep
It’s no surprise that an evening cup of coffee
might disrupt your sleep. Even moderate caffeine
can cause sleep disturbances. But don’t forget
about less obvious caffeine sources, like
chocolate, cola, tea and decaffeinated coffee.
For better sleep, cut all caffeine from your
diet after noon each day.
Medications May Contain Caffeine
Some over-the-counter and prescription drugs
contain caffeine, too, such as pain relievers,
weight loss pills, diuretics, and cold
medicines. These and other medications may have
as much or even more caffeine than a cup of
coffee. Check the label of nonprescription drugs
or the prescription drug information sheet to
see if your medicine interferes with sleep or
can cause insomnia.
Here’s the catch-22 with alcohol: It may help
you fall asleep faster, but you may experience
frequent awakenings, less restful sleep,
headaches, night sweats and nightmares. If
you’re consuming alcohol in the evening, balance
each drink with a glass a water to dilute the
Heavy, Spicy Foods
Lying down with a full belly can make you
uncomfortable, since the digestive system slows
down when you sleep. And spicy cuisine can lead
to heartburn. Make sure to finish a heavy meal
at least four hours before bedtime.
Protein to a Minimum at Bedtime
Sorry Atkins. Protein, an essential part of our
daytime fare, is a poor choice for a bedtime
snack. Protein-rich foods are harder to digest.
So skip the high-protein snack before bedtime
and opt for a glass of warm milk or some
sleep-friendly carbs, like crackers.
Fluids by 8 P.M.
Yes, staying hydrated throughout the day is
great for your body, but curtail your fluid
intake before bed. You’re sure to have
interrupted sleep if you’re constantly getting
up to go to the bathroom.
Fooled by a Relaxing Smoke
Nicotine is a stimulant, with effects similar to
caffeine. Avoid smoking before bedtime or if you
wake up in the middle of the night.
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