The activity of the organism is not negligibly related to food intake. So there are foods that promote sleep and others that make us stay awake. Some foods lower blood pressure and heart rate, rather do not stimulate the general metabolism and thus facilitate the slipping into sleep. Conversely, certain ingested foods can also put the body in a higher degree of activity and thus make falling asleep more difficult. We provide tips on how to influence your sleep through diet.
Positive influence of nutrition: 6 tips
There are some foods that can help you find peace and sleep in the evening. The following tips will help you to take advantage of the positive effects of food.
1. Milk with honey for reassurance
Classic sleeping aid: the warm honey milk. The calcium in the milk has a calming effect on the body. It favors the relaxation of the muscles and also counteracts a nervous tension. In addition, the milk contains protein, which also has a calming effect.
The ingredients of honey should also have a soporific effect. However, should Honey only in small quantities be used. Add something to your honey milk Almonds and cinnamon This promotes the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
2. Soaking tea
A drink with the right herbal mixture can have amazing effects. The modes of action of the individual plants have been known for centuries and have now been scientifically proven. They either have a direct soporific or calming effect as well as mood and nerve stabilizing effects.
The following plants are effective for sleep disorders:
- St. John's Wort
Attention: Do not drink black or green tea - these contain, like coffee and cola, stimulating caffeine.
3. Bananas release tension
The effect of this fruit is probably its positive influence on neurotransmitters. The one contained in the banana tryptophan increases the body's serotonin level. This substance works mood-enhancing and tension-releasing - falling asleep is facilitated, the quality of sleep promoted.
Cachew and sunflower seeds also contain a lot of tryptophan.
4. Dietary ingredients that affect sleep
Especially in recent times, nutritional methods are popular, recommend the morning in the spirit of a food combining carbohydrate rich foods and in the evening protein-rich food. The thesis behind this is that protein - in contrast to carbohydrates - does not stimulate nocturnal insulin production, which in turn favors the storage of fat.
Whether this method actually leads to a calmer sleep is controversial. Other experts believe that foods with complex carbohydrates (such as wholemeal bread or potatoes) promote the release of the hormone serotonin and thus quiet sleep.
5. Alcohol in moderation
Alcohol in small amounts makes most people tired. Higher amounts of alcohol have the opposite effect instead.
- Beer: In addition to alcohol, the hops contained in beer also have a calming effect. However, the drink should not be taken too cold, as the body then has to produce energy to warm it up to body temperature. You should not drink more than 300 milliliters.
- Wine: Red wine has besides the alcoholic also other calming effects. The numerous ingredients (tannins, phenols, dyes, etc.) help to relieve stress, which is often the cause of sleep problems. However, you should not approve more than 200 milliliters. Incidentally, unlike red wine, white wine and sparkling wine are stimulating, not sleep-inducing.
6. Introduce rituals
Taking certain foods before falling asleep may well psychological backgrounds have: By eating or drinking, a "ritual" is initiated, which is linked in the subconscious with sleeping.
However, you can also use other rituals to usher in the end of the day, for example a short evening walk or reading some pages.
Negative influence of the diet
While some foods are good for a good night's sleep, other foods hinder sleep. You should therefore avoid the following five foods at bedtime:
1. Caffeinated drinks and nicotine increase the activity
These stimulants increase blood pressure and heart rate and increase activity. Therefore, in the evening and if necessary in the afternoon, avoid coffee, coke, black tea and cigarettes.
2. Fat and sugar-rich foods slow down digestion
The digestion of large amounts of fat is associated with the body with considerable effort. As a result, the cycle must work intensified again.
A high blood sugar level also acts as a signal for the organism to stimulate the metabolism. The energy provided must be "processed" in some way - it is either stored, burned or put into motion.
3. Restless sleep due to high doses of alcohol
Large amounts of alcoholic beverages cause anesthesia-like condition rather than a healthy sleep. The consequence of this is that this condition wears off when the alcohol level goes down and you then have to fall asleep "properly" again.
Deep sleep and dream phases get confused, sleep is less restful. No wonder that you feel like a wheelchair after an alcohol-rich evening in the morning.
4. White wine and sparkling wine are stimulating
Both have a stimulating effect despite the alcohol. In addition, plenty of acidity is present in both drinks.
5. Citrus fruits stimulate the circulation
Oranges or tangerines should not be eaten immediately before bedtime. The fruit acid (also in the form of vitamin C = ascorbic acid) stimulates the circulation. The body counteracts the supply of acid and thus the lowering of the pH level buffering. This compensation requires the activation of various mechanisms.
The same applies to other acidic foods such as gherkins.
The quantity is also important
In addition to the type of food, of course, their amount is important: Lush meals before going to bed have a detrimental effect on the falling asleep. In addition to insulin, many more hormones are released, which bring the body "out of the peace".
But: An empty and growling stomach is also a hindrance to the night's sleep. The feeling of hunger and the movements of the stomach are a constant reminder that you should eat. In addition, such a condition is not just the mood beneficial.
Between your last meal and the bed rest should be at least two hours lie. In the evening, avoid bloating food.