Diner has come and gone but you have a craving; yet, it's now close to bedtime… What should you eat in the evening to sleep well? Even if a large bowl of ice cream topped with chocolate and whipped cream is calling to you, it might not be the best snack before going to bed! Of course, everybody's metabolism differs and if Fabien can sleep fine after devouring a whole pizza, Lydia might take the whole night to digest her yogurt.
But then, what types of food should we eat to sleep better?
Here is a list of—healthy! — foods that might help you fall easier in the arms of Morpheus; but like in all things, moderation is always the key, and listen particularly to the best judge there is: yourself!
Lipids. We’re not talking here of a nice dripping burger, but of the good kind of fats contained in food, like you’ll for example find in avocados, oils and nuts such as cashews and almonds. Nuts are rich in tryptophan, an essential amino acid that plays a role in the production of serotonin and melatonin, sometimes called the “sleep hormone”.
Carbohydrates (slow sugars)
What? Sugar is among the foods to eat to sleep better? Well, yes. But forget about candy and other sweets, this is more about slow release sugars, like what we find in bread and pasta, rice and potatoes. Their composition helps your body to produce serotonin, and since they stay longer in the organism, they’ll prevent you from having cravings at 3 a.m., ideally. You can also opt for honey in a warm glass of milk (does that remind you of childhood memories? Us too!)
On top of that, did you know that cherries contain a large quantity of melatonin? And that bananas stimulates the production of this hormone as well as serotonin?
As it's harder to digest, avoid red meat and instead, favour white meats and legumes as a source of protein in the evening; the latter also contain a great quantity of tryptophan.
Foods to avoid before bed
Now that you now what to eat in the evening, let’s see what you should avoid to not turn every which way under the covers for a big part of the night!
Caffeine. We’re not telling you anything new by saying that too much coffee undermines the quality of your sleep. But caffeine also hides itself in numerous other beverages like tea, carbonated drinks and—of course—energy drinks. Instead, turn to herbal teas like camomile and lemongrass, for example.
On top of all that, how do I sleep better?
In addition to ban some foods before sleep, adopting a healthy lifestyle is primordial: sleep enough, avoid electronic distractions (admit that you look at your social media before going to bed, or even once you’re lying down!) and be sure to arrange for a quiet and comfortable environment. For example, opt for a hybrid viscoelastic foam mattress, they are available in various brands and models, and will help you sleep better by conforming to the shape of your body and lowering pressure points.
It's also now possible to order your mattress online and have it delivered to your home; once you’ve received your mattress in a box—and once you’ve put into action the advice mentioned above—you should see a marked difference in the quality of your sleep!