There are seemingly endless ways that supposedly promise a good night’s sleep, but according to a sleep expert, it could be as simple as eating the right foods before bed.
Sammy Margo, author of The Good Sleep Guide, reveals what we eat and drink before bed can have a major impact on our ability to nod off, and our chances of getting a goo d night's sleep.
Bananas: They're rich in magnesium which relaxes muscles; they also contain sleep promoting serotonin and melatonin.
Almonds: Almonds are bursting with tryptophan and magnesium, “which both help to naturally reduce muscle and nerve function while also steadying your heart rhythm,” according to Margo.
Honey: One teaspoon of honey is enough to stimulate the release of melatonin in the brain and shut off orexin (which keeps us alert), thus helping you to wind down.
Oats: As well as being yet another food rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids which promote sleep-inducing melatonin, oats encourages insulin production and naturally raise blood sugar.
And here's what you should avoid consuming before bed if you want to drift off peacefully:
Alcohol: Whilst you might find a glass or two of your favourite beverage helps you nod off, alcohol stops you falling into deep sleep.
Cheese: Hard cheese contain high levels of the amino acid tyramine which actually makes the brain feel more alert, and thus makes falling asleep more difficult.
Spicy food: Hilli peppers contain capsaicin which makes it harder for your body to regulate temperature, resulting in a less peaceful night’s sleep.
Fatty food: Fatty foods are hard for your stomach to digest, which makes it more difficult to get to sleep. “Fatty foods high in protein, like steak, digest slowly and may disturb our Circadian rhythm,” Margo says.
Coffee: This is, of course, the most obvious no-no. Remember: the stimulant stays in your system for a long time and you can still be feeling the effects even ten hours later.
Whay you eat or drink before bed is one of the many recommendations to help ensure a good night's sleep. We all know that sleep is vital for our health and wellbeing, and athletes are especially aware of the importance of a good night’s rest. With this in mind, you may like to take a look at 5 Sleep Tips From Olympians.