“When you eat, eat. When you sleep, sleep. When you fight, fight.”
-Matthew Woodring Stover
There is evidence that how you are eating can affect your sleep. More and more research is showing that eating a balanced diet not only improves your waistline, but it can help you sleep…which leads to better…everything. (How What You Eat Affects Sleep | Everyday Health).
Foods that can affect sleep
One of the most common issues that Americans report is heartburn. A bad case of heartburn can leave you tossing and turning all night! Scientific studies have shown that eating within two hours of going to sleep causes gravity to shift and not in a good way. With no gravity to help keep that food down the stomach acid can splash up to the larynx and cause a spasm in the airway. If you are trying to get better sleep, it’s best to stay away from late-night eating (Foods To Eat Before Bed To Get A Better Night's Sleep - YouTube).
Here are foods and drinks that are likely to cause issues with your sleeping patterns:
- Acidic foods. Even healthy foods like onions, tomatoes, garlic, citrus fruits, dark chocolate and peppermint can trigger reflux.
- “While alcohol can help you fall asleep faster, after that initial period, it disrupts your sleep,” says Dr. Latridis. “I don’t recommend alcohol late at night especially not for sleep quality.”
- Caffeinated beverages are also a culprit, so limit coffee, tea and soda after 2 p.m. Watch out for food and drinks that contain caffeine, such as chocolate, coffee- or chocolate-flavored desserts, soda and even decaf coffee.
- High-fat foods. These include butter, cheese, fatty cuts of meat and anything fried.
- Spicy meals and condiments. Avoid fiery dishes and sauces to reduce your risk of heartburn.
What You Can Eat or Drink Before Bed
The good news is that there are things that not only help you sleep, but can greatly improve the quality of sleep (What to Snack on Before Bed | Sleep Foundation).
- Almonds – a known source of melatonin, which helps with regulating your internal clock.
- Turkey – not only is turkey high in protein, but contains an amino acid tryptophan, which also produces melatonin.
- Chamomile tea – humans have been drinking tea for years and years. This type of tea hes boost immune system, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve skin health…AND promotes sleep.
Other foods to try out
- Tart cherry juice
- Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel
- Passionflower tea
- White rice
- Cottage cheese
- Plain yogurt
- Protein smoothie
- Almond butter
There are tons of reading materials on the web that you can check out for more information on this topic. Try the following:
- The best and worst foods for sleep | Benenden Health
- Should You Eat Before Bed? All the Pros and Cons - Amerisleep
- 20 Foods That Help You Sleep—And 20 to Avoid Before Bed (eatthis.com)
- 10 Worst Foods to Eat Before Bed - Accent Sleep Solutions (northfloridasleepsolutions.com)
Sleep Hygiene - How Fleet Sheets Can Help Those in the Fleet
As always, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention all of the great options to improve your sleeping conditions while service in the Fleet. Check these out:
For full inventory go to Navy Rack & Coast Guard Rack Sheets & Rack Accessories | Fleet Sheets