Whether it’s a jolt after a cup of coffee or drowsiness after Thanksgiving dinner, most people have personally experienced how food and drinks can affect their energy and alertness.
With as many as 35% of American adults suffering from symptoms of insomnia, it’s understandable that there’s a strong desire to take advantage of food and drinks for better sleep.
Both diet and sleep are complex, which means there’s no silver bullet or single food that is guaranteed to help with sleep. However, there are some foods and drinks that may make it easier to get a great night’s sleep.
Dietary choices affect more than just energy and sleepiness; they can play a major role in things like weight, cardiovascular health, and blood sugar levels just to name a few. For that reason, it’s best to consult with a doctor or dietician before making significant changes to your daily diet. Doing so helps ensure that your food choices support not just your sleep but all of your other health priorities as well.
While some foods may help with sleep in general, they are less likely to be effective if you have poor sleep hygiene. For example, if your bedroom is noisy and bright or if you use electronic devices in bed, it may suppress your body’s melatonin production and counteract the benefits of sleep-promoting food.
Reviewing your current sleep hygiene practices can be a starting point for sleeping better, and since it involves considering your daytime and pre-bed routines, this review may offer an opportunity to incorporate foods that are good for sleep into an overall plan to get more consistent and replenishing rest.