How Eating Healthy Can Help You Get a Good Night's Sleep
Posted Feb 02 2011 7:47pm
Have you ever wondered about why you can't sleep well at night? Have you ever gone to bed feeling hungry or completely full and slept poorly as a result, despite having what you consider 'regular eating habits'? Well, if this has happened to you, one reason could be that you aren't necessarily eating healthy enough to help your body get a good night's sleep. Your dietary habits and the nutrition you take into your body both significantly affect how you sleep at night.
Think first about your dietary habits. Are you eating a lot of heavy food three times a day? If so, this heavy meal at night for dinner could keep you awake. The sleepiness you feel after eating a heavy meal is a little misleading. Your body is tired, yes, but not in a way that is conducive to getting a good night's sleep. Instead, your body is trying to process the large amount of food in its system. As such, this can stress your digestive track, which is why many overeaters wake up in the middle of the night suffering from heartburn or intestinal cramping. If you can regulate the amount of food you eat at dinner by snacking throughout the day, you can manage your digestion process and make it more efficient, thus helping your body to sleep well.
Secondly, the nutrition you receive can also affect how you sleep. Yes, it's fairly common knowledge that foods and drinks heavy in caffeine can keep you up late, but so too could foods with natural sugars, such as fruits. Likewise, extremely spicy foods could give you heartburn, obviously, and certain liquids, such as milk, could make your stomach feel uncomfortably full. Of course, everyone reacts differently to different kinds of foods and drinks so you'll want to monitor your eating and sleeping habits in order to figure out what habits are best for you. Try tracking your eating and sleeping in a journal. Try it for a couple weeks and then examine the results as you experiment with different combinations. Your best bet is to learn by trial an error. Eventually you'll find the right formula and will hopefully sleep better.
If you continue to have trouble sleeping, however, and have done all you can to adjust your diet, consider speaking to a doctor and a nutritionist. Trouble sleeping can be a symptom of a greater nutritional deficiency, so you'll want to speak to an expert with the knowledge to help you diagnose and solve the problem. Until then, your best bet is to eat in moderation, to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and to eat in a fairly standard routine.