A healthy diet is important for a healthy life, but proper nutrition makes a huge impact on how well you sleep. We already know that maintaining a healthy sleep schedule can help prevent heart disease, obesity, and many behavioral disorders and mental illnesses. So how can you make sure you’re getting the best foods to help you sleep?
You should always consult with your doctor regarding specific concerns you may have about your diet or sleep pattern, but as a general rule, you should be getting plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet to help with sleep. If you have trouble sleeping or don’t feel well rested even when you have slept, evaluate your intake of calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, D, E, and K. All of these vitamins and minerals are considered key nutrients for healthy sleep.
Certain foods can cause major sleep problems, so moderation is key. Carb heavy meals, especially pasta or rice dishes, may make you feel drowsy, but the quality of sleep you may receive would not be restful. Caffeine in small doses, such as a cup of coffee in the morning, may not leave you wide awake at night, but keep in mind that the soda you drink with dinner may contain enough caffeine to keep you awake much later than you want.
As we have mentioned in a blog before, poor diet can cause and exacerbate symptoms for sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. High intake of sugary food and drinks, fatty foods, and carbs can cause you to awaken much more frequently and sometimes never even reach REM sleep.
No two people are the same, which is why someone else’s diet may not work best for you! You can find the foods, snacks, and drinks that work best for you, and if you have trouble, you can speak with your doctor about their recommendations based off your health concerns or needs.