6 out of 10 people will complain about lack of sleep (amongst other things). Whichever way you look at it, inadequate sleep kills you slowly – it is the stepping stone to various problems ranging from dull skin to headaches, blood pressure, lack of energy and poor performance at work and elsewhere. As we have discussed already, sleeping well is just one of the benefits of regular exercise. Here are some tips how to sleep better:
Keep it ½ full
Your stomach should be no more than ½ full after your last meal therefore, keep it light. ½ would be about equal to 3/4th of your fist when spread out or 4 fingers worth. ½ so if there’s any part of the meal still in your stomach then the stomach can still continue with the digestion process and not get hampered the weight of your body squashing it down as you sleep. This will also prevent acid reflux and heartburns.
Eat an hour before you sleep
Too early and you will feel hungry just as you are ready to sleep. Too late and you’re still digesting your meal and would have an uncomfortable sleep. So make it about an hour before you sleep. If you eat two hours before you sleep you will end up feeling like Batman or Batwomen on steroids and would prefer heading for the circus rather than to bed. Hit the sack roughly an hour after your last meal.
Make it a small one
If you like your tipple, a small 30ml of your favorite alcohol taken about 10 minutes before sleeping will help you sleep well. If you take more than 30ml, your sleep could get fragmented and also impair rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. A ‘large one’ or several ‘small ones’ will also dehydrate you and you would wake up feeling tired.
It seems to be fashionable to drink coffee after dinner. However, fashionable is not the same as healthy. Caffeine and sleep don’t mix. If you suffer from insomnia, then the last cup of coffee or caffeine drink should be before noon. Caffeine needs time to get out of your system completely. Besides, replacing the coffee post dinner with a fruit may help you get rid of bad breath (if you have one).
Eat food which is easily digested
‘Easily digested’ that is the key to sleeping well. The last meal of the day should consist of food that is easily digested. Therefore avoid rich, high fat and oily foods. Also avoid foods that are difficult to digest including meats. Stick to soups, veggies and fruits for your last meal.
Stop fluids half hour before sleeping
Other than the ‘small one’ I mentioned in tip # 3 above, avoid drinking water or milk less than half hour before sleeping – it might wake you during the night.
Milk and honey does it
Milk contains tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that promotes sleep. Here’s my favorite food recipe for good sleep: A cup of warm milk with half teaspoon of honey and a small banana. Milk and honey provide tryptophan while the banana provides vitamin B6 that helps metabolize tryptophan to serotonin – a sleep inducer.
Sweet dreams, everyone!
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