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Which Foods and Drinks Help You Sleep Better?

March 30, 2015

Before you snuggle into the relaxing comfort of your organic cotton sheets, make sure not to sabotage your restful sleep by eating foods that energize or agitate your body. Taking care to only eat comforting snacks and drinks before bedtime (and avoiding those that are likely to cause you to toss-and-turn) will make it much easier to fall asleep and enjoy a night of deep, dream-filled rest.

Five Foods to Eat for Better Sleep

Dairy. The ritual of warm milk helps many people sleep, but most other dairy products can induce pleasant sleep. For the best results, combine the tryptophan in milk with carbohydrates for slow digestion. Think cheese and crackers or cereal with milk.
Nuts. Almonds and walnuts contain an assortment of nutrients that encourage serotonin and melatonin production, while offering a pleasant balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates.
Jasmine rice. A higher glycemic index than other grains makes jasmine rice an unexpected winner for inducing sleep. Your blood sugar spikes, but the spike is strong enough that the eventual fade will lull you peacefully to sleep.
Cherry juice. You may think the sugar content would make cherry juice a bad idea, but this juice encourages melatonin production. Tart varieties produce the strongest effect.
Lettuce and mint tea. Brewing dark lettuce and mint leaves produces a soothing, subtle tea that brings out lactucarium, a substance with mild sedative effects.

Five Foods to Avoid Before Bedtime

Spicy foods. Hot sauce and heavily-spiced dishes like curry can produce slightly euphoric effects that will keep you awake. Once you settle into bed, it gets worse—spicy foods also encourage acid reflux, which leads to discomfort throughout the night. Tomatoes have similar effects, so avoid spicy salsa.
Bacon. The combination of high protein (problematic for digestion) and high fat (encourages acid production) makes dishes like bacon cheeseburgers a poor choice for restful sleeping.
Hard cheeses. Although most dairy products have soothing effects, you should avoid fragrant, aged cheese. These typically contain tyramine, an amino acid that promotes extra brain activity and triggers headaches.
Chocolate. Remember that chocolate dessert contains caffeine before you indulge in that rich dessert. Theobromine, another chemical found in chocolate and coffee, also has stimulating effects.
Ginseng tea. Enjoy herbal teas before bedtime but avoid those that contain ginseng. Although some medications actually use varieties of ginseng to promote sleep, Asian ginseng seems to have energizing effects—not the soothing drink you’ll want to ease into sleep.

The foods you eat before bedtime can really help you sleep better! Naturally, you can also consult your nutritionist or doctor for individual recommendations. Keep these smart choices in mind and you will love sinking into your luxurious organic cotton bedding even more.