Getting to sleep isn’t easy. In a not very recent but still significant survey, 9 million Italians declared that they could not sleep.
The sleep cycle is set in motion in a natural way by the body that releases certain hormones that act in conjunction with other chemical reactions involving nutrients, enzymes, amino acids. Not sleeping well can lead to increased risk factors for very serious diseases.
Sleeping in this modern society is not easy, distractions do not help, the constant illumination of the blue light of smartphones has become almost endemic and therefore, in addition to sleeping badly, remedies are sought beyond beyond our physiological capabilities.
sleep is a weapon of the human body used to recharge energy , train memory, recover from the efforts of the day. There are hormonal mechanisms that are set in motion in certain stages of sleep, precisely to favor it and at the same time obtain the maximum benefits.
eating habits (nutrition) affects the sleep cycle, disturbing or delaying it. We never pay too much attention to ourselves precisely because we take for granted the need to sleep and to feed ourselves.
Foods that promote sleep and those that do not
Apart from the cases in which you skip it, because maybe you are following a diet plan like that of intermittent fasting, dinner is a routine meal, important. Eating light, but well, is mainly important in order not to have a heavy digestion or not to wake up to a hunger attack, which could lead to a bad habit.
So the first thing to do, if you want to sleep well, especially when there is a need for rest, is to avoid foods and drinks that do not promote sleep. Some you will know for sure …
Coffee and tea
They are stimulating drinks, especially the former. caffeine has a well-known exciting effect, which can delay falling asleep. Those who suffer from insomnia or have difficulty falling asleep should limit themselves to coffee and not take it beyond the early afternoon. Black tea has less mild effects, but it’s best avoided.
Coca-Cola and sugary drinks
Coca-Cola is known to be caffeine and should be avoided, especially as it contains a lot of simple sugar, which doesn’t help you relax at all. There is no escape from drinking it without sugar or without caffeine. Better to avoid (absolutely). The same goes for supermarket fruit juices, rich in added sugars, which cause a too high insulin peak.
The caffeine contained in coffee and Coca-Cola is highly diuretic and may force you to get out of bed to go to the bathroom.
energy drinks also fall into this category of drinks to avoid.
Among fruits it is known to have interactions with drugs, rich in vitamins and minerals, but it causes heartburn. It shouldn’t even be consumed in a juice version.
For the same diuretic properties a super food like celery could hinder sleep. Better to consume it for lunch, because it is a highly recommended vegetable for its purifying effects on the urinary tract.
Although alcohol sooner or later causes fatigue, the overload of work that it entails in the liver and therefore also in the blood circulation, in addition to having negative medium-long term effects, has consequences that are not exactly desirable in the immediate future. It can involve headaches, stomach problems, excessive diuresis. All factors that keep you awake.
Extra dark chocolate is also considered a food that has many virtues. But being rich in caffeine, it actually has the same stimulating effect as coffee, despite putting you in a good mood.
Sweets and candies
They contain sugars that release insulin with a very high glycemic peak. They also create a hidden source of addiction, which is difficult to eradicate due to the known damage caused by sugar.
Spices and spicy foods
In general, the spicy cuisine , too salty, too spicy does not help you sleep due to its diuretic and stimulating effects. If applied to red meat or even to side dishes with a diuretic effect it can be a bad combination.
Foods that facilitate sleep
Zinc, magnesium and potassium promote sleep. Sources of zinc are known, as well as that of magnesium and potassium.
A fruit rich in magnesium and potassium is the banana, which in fact induces sleep.
The zinc contained in walnuts helps and not a little. The same goes for almonds, oysters and fish with red meat in general (trout, salmon et cet).
Whole grains deserve a separate discussion. A common experience for many is eating pasta or potatoes in the evening and almost immediately feel drowsy . This effect is due to the more delayed release of insulin than simple sugars. Carbohydrates are complex sugars as is known.
The belief that you shouldn’t eat carbohydrates for dinner is hard to die. Obviously it is better to eat little, but nothing prevents you from eating 80 grams of wholemeal pasta with a light sauce.
If you devour 120 grams of spaghetti carbonara at dinner time, the accounts will never add up.
But it is true that you can rest better by eating slow-release carbohydrates , among which there are legumes, vegetables and fruit, as well as pasta and bread, since they do not reach a high glycemic index.
The diet that promotes sleep is always the balanced one, which does without foods that are too salty, too spicy and certainly too sweet.
Also, you should avoid all those stimulants, which you normally take in the morning to give you a boost. Better to favor a balanced meal with the right amount of carbohydrates and proteins, without overdoing it.
Finally, as grandma would say, you can certainly sleep well with a classic glass of warm milk.
If you are interested in the world of nutrition on a scientific basis and know the most important secrets related to how you eat and what effects food has on your body, watch the free video lesson ” The timing of nutrition “. It is from the video course ” Potential Nutrition ” and I think it could be very useful.