Diet has a more significant impact on sleep than you may realize. When it comes to a good night’s sleep, it’s not just about WHAT you eat, but WHEN.
Let’s start with the obvious, caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and should be avoided in the latter half of your day. Other sources of caffeine that may surprise you include protein bars, decaf coffee, non-cola sodas, ice cream, yogurt, candy bars, hot chocolate, and flavored water. Make sure to read package labels to avoid any source of caffeine late in the day.
Data shows that low fiber intake, and high saturated fat and sugar intake throughout the day is linked with lighter, less restorative sleep. Indigestion before bedtime makes it harder for your body to relax and drift off to sleep.
Limiting sugar, in general, will positively impact all aspects of health. According to the National Sleep Foundation, cutting sugar will keep energy consistent throughout the day, leading to a better night’s rest.
While you want to avoid going to bed on an overly full stomach, your sleep may be disrupted by hunger if you’re running on empty. Opt for high fiber low sugar nighttime snacks such as oatmeal, carrot sticks with hummus, or avocado on whole-grain toast.
Finally, you may want to reconsider that evening drink. While the effects of alcohol can knock you out quickly, research that shows it disturbs the quality of your sleep later in the night.