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Can't Sleep? It Might Be What You're Eating (and Not Just the Late-Night Grub)

Updated: May 6

Ugh, insomnia. You hit the hay exhausted, ready to conquer dreamland, but your brain decides it's party time. Before you resign yourself to another night of sheep counting (or scrolling mindlessly through TikTok), consider this: your diet might be playing a sneaky role in your sleep struggles.

woman with insomnia

Food: Your Secret Sleep Weapon

We've all been there – tossing and turning after a giant plate of pasta. Turns out, there's a scientific reason for it. Digestion is a demanding process, and when your body's busy breaking down a feast, sleep can get pushed aside. But here's the flip side: going to bed with a rumbling stomach isn't exactly a recipe for dreamland either. The key is finding the balance – foods that promote relaxation without giving your digestive system a late-night workout.

Nighttime Nibblers, Take Note! Pre-Sleep Snack Strategies

five almonds

Listen up, late-night snackers! While a heavy meal right before bed can disrupt sleep for some, others might function better with a light pre-sleep bite. If you find yourself needing a little something before drifting off, here are some tips:

  • Quality over Quantity: Skip the sugary treats and processed snacks. Instead, opt for small portions of nutrient-rich foods that promote relaxation and don't weigh down your digestion.

  • Sleep-Friendly Options: If a pre-sleep snack is part of your routine, some great choices include:

    • Warm Milk: A classic for a reason! Warm milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that converts to serotonin, a brain chemical that chills you out and primes you for sleep.

    • Tart Cherry Juice: In addition to tryptophan, this ruby red beverage is a natural source of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle.

    • A Few Almonds: Don't underestimate these little powerhouses. Almonds are packed with magnesium, a mineral that can improve sleep quality. Remember, a small handful is plenty, as almonds are calorie-dense.

  • Part of Your Last Meal? If a pre-sleep snack isn't your thing, consider incorporating these sleep-friendly ingredients into your last meal of the day.

Listen to Your Body

The key takeaway? Everyone's body is different. Experiment and find what works best for you! Some people, like me, might find that not getting enough protein before bed disrupts their sleep.

The Science Behind the Snack:

This isn't just anecdotal! A study by the Women's Health Initiative actually found that increased protein intake was linked with better sleep. Another study suggests that for some people, getting around 20% of their daily calories from protein, regardless of whether it's animal or plant-based, leads to a better overall sleep score.

The Bottom Line: Pay attention to how your body responds to different foods and macronutrient ratios. Don't become overly obsessed, but be mindful of what seems to have a positive or negative impact on your sleep.

By following these tips and making smart food choices, you can create a winning formula for a night of blissful sleep. So ditch the late-night pizza binges and embrace foods that will help you drift off to dreamland and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day!

woman is waking up feeling refreshed

Want to take a deeper dive into healthy sleep habits and discover a personalized approach to food and fitness? Download your FREE copy of The SPARK Method! This comprehensive guide goes beyond sleep to explore the five pillars of holistic wellness: nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management, and mindset. Learn how to create a sustainable routine that unlocks your full potential for restful sleep, a healthy body, and a happier you! Download your free copy of The SPARK Method today and start living your healthiest life!


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