STAY away from the spicy Doritos and put down the double chocolate doughnuts if you’re struggling to sleep.
Both can make it pretty difficult to nod off – and even harder to stay in a deep slumber, experts have warned.
Instead, you should be scoffing foods high in tryptophan, magnesium and B vitamins.
These apparently promote calmness and muscle relaxation and help regulate your sleep.
The best way to pack them into your diet is through the following:
- Tryptophan – found in turkey, dairy, seeds
- Magnesium – found in leafy greens, nuts, whole grains
- B vitamins – found in eggs, meat, legumes
Dr Sue Peacock, a consultant health psychologist that specialises in sleep disorders, said: “A lot of people don’t make the link between their food intake and sleep disruption.
“But hydration and a balanced diet with foods rich in sleep-supporting nutrients can make a big difference.
“Eating large, heavy or spicy meals close to bedtime can lead to discomfort and indigestion, making it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
“However, tryptophan, found in turkey, dairy products and seeds, helps with the production of serotonin and melatonin, promoting relaxation and sleep.
“Magnesium-rich foods include leafy greens, nuts and whole grains, which can aid with muscle relaxation.
“And B vitamins can be found in eggs, meat and legumes and contribute to the production of neurotransmitters that are involved in sleep regulation.”
So when deciding what to munch on before you hit the hay, consider ditching the Chilli Heatwave tortilla chips and decadent Krispy Kremes in favour of a turkey and boiled egg sandwich on whole grain bread, filled with spinach and hummus.
Follow it with a portion of Greek yoghurt topped with almonds and sunflower seeds and you’re set for a blissful night of rest.
This ticks off the relevant sleep-inducing requirements, without sacrificing on taste. Here’s how:
- Tryptophan – turkey slices, Greek yoghurt, sunflower seeds
- Magnesium – spinach, almonds, whole grain bread
- B vitamins – boiled egg, chickpeas
Dr Peacock, who is working with Opera Beds, said it’s also important to remain hydrated throughout the day, but people should limit their water consumption a couple of hours before going to bed.
“You don’t want your body to wake you up to go to the toilet during the night,” she added.
Booze and coffee intake should also be kept to a minimum.
“While alcohol may initially induce drowsiness, it can affect the quality of rest causing more frequent waking and a less restorative sleep,” Dr Peacock said.
“Caffeine and other stimulants also interfere with the body’s ability to naturally wind down and relax, so you might want to set a time during the day that you stop having caffeine after, depending on your sensitivity to it.”