As you know, Beds Online is all about sleep! Keeping to our sleep tips topic, I want to share with you which foods and drinks you should avoid before bed, which will help you sleep, as well as other natural sleep remedies.
A lack of sleep can take its toll on your health by weakening your immune system, increasing your blood pressure, and causing depression as well as anxiety, to name but a few.
Natural sleep remedies could be as simple as limiting your caffeine intake, having a quick snack before bed, or simply burning some essential oils in your room.
Things you should avoid before bed
There are many things to avoid before bed such as electronics, heavy exercise, and sleeping on a full stomach. Below I’ve listed some of the most common things to stay away from when it comes to food and drinks.
Okay, so this one you have all heard over and over again. But it is so worth repeating for obvious reasons. Caffeine is not only found in your favorite cup of coffee but also in chocolate, some teas, energy drinks, and cool drinks. I’m not going into the exact explanation as to why caffeine keeps us awake as the at-will turn into a whole science lesson! In short, it messes with your brain and prevents you from falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night.
Ease up on the alcohol
A couple of glasses of your favorite red wine or whiskey will surely make you sleepy and help you fall asleep quickly. The truth is, however, that it will interrupt your sleep and cause you to wake up more frequently throughout the night. It also shortens the time spent in REM sleep, which is the restorative part of your sleep cycle.
Say no to fatty snacks
Grabbing that last slice of pizza or leftover KFC just before bed is a big no-no! Fatty foods are difficult to digest, meaning that your body will be working overtime digesting the food instead of recouping after an active day, and might cause acid reflux as well. The same goes for going to bed on a full stomach.
Snacks and drinks that might help you sleep
Many of us have our own bedtime routines which might include a light snack, cup of tea or glass of warm milk. But do you know if your preferred snack or drink is, in fact, something that will help you sleep or something that might be interrupting your sleep cycle?
The foods and drinks listed below could help you get the quality sleep you need!
Almonds & Walnuts
Almonds are rich in magnesium which is an essential mineral needed for good sleep. Various studies have found that low levels of magnesium in the body make it more difficult to stay asleep throughout the night.
Walnuts, on the other hand, have a high level of tryptophan which is a sleep-enhancing amino acid that helps make serotonin and melatonin, the body-clock hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycles.
Cheese & Crackers
It is not necessarily just cheese that has a positive impact on our sleep but pretty much any dairy snack. Dairy products also have tryptophan in them and the calcium in dairy snacks helps the brain use the tryptophan more efficiently.
Bananas are rich in vitamin B6 that helps our body produce melatonin, which is basically a hormone that’s triggered by darkness and tells the brain that it is time to sleep. Even when you wake up during the night, high levels of melatonin will help you fall right back to sleep in no time.
Chamomile tea is a powerful herb well known for its antioxidant and sleep-inducing benefits and has been used for centuries. The herbal tea basically relaxes you and serves as a mild but natural sedative.
Rooibos tea with honey
Many people do not like the taste of chamomile tea. An alternative would be Rooibos tea with honey. Rooibos tea does not contain caffeine and has natural calming effects, but the actual sleep friend in this cup would be honey. Honey contains natural sugars which will slightly raise your insulin levels, which in turn allows tryptophan, mentioned above, to enter the brain easier.
Other natural sleep aids
The fragrance of essential oils such as lavender and jasmine have a calming effect on us. This will lower your heart rate, decrease anxiety and just generally make you feel calm and relaxed and help you sleep better. So, light an oil burner, get a linen spray or dab a drop behind each ear before you go to bed.
This one I have never really thought of as something that could help me sleep better, but yes, having certain plants in the bedroom could do just that. Plants such as Peace Lillys, Mother-in-law’s Tongue, and Bamboo Palms are all listed by NASA as air improving plants. It turns carbon dioxide into oxygen at night and allows you to get better quality sleep.
There are so many natural sleep remedies that it will be impossible to list them all. These are only my top picks:-). So instead of reaching for those sleeping pills, that generally have side effects, rather grab a handful of nuts, drink a cup of tea and light an essential oil burner!