Are you looking for a better night’s sleep? With Daylight Saving Time approaching, it’s normal to think about our sleep patterns. But it’s not just the time change that can affect the quality of your slumber, your food choices matter, too. Here are 5 nutrition tips to help improve your sleep quality.
- Limit large meals 2-3 hours before bedtime. Sleep will be less restful if you are still digesting dinner. Plus, late, large meals can exacerbate conditions like reflux. Consider making lunch the largest meal of your day and choosing a lighter dinner.
- Cut back on alcohol (if you choose to drink). While it may help you initially fall asleep, alcohol interferes with REM sleep, leading to more restless nights and a less recharged feeling in the morning.
- Choose a small evening snack that includes complex carbohydrates, like whole grain breads, crackers, or popcorn. This can boost serotonin which helps you sleep.
- Conversely, limit simple sugars, such as candy and pastries, before bed. Studies show that these foods lead to less restful sleep and waking up more during the night.
- Skip the afternoon coffee or energy drink. Caffeine consumed after noon will likely disrupt your sleep. Instead, take a brisk walk which can boost energy and alertness.
Try out some of these strategies and observe the effect they have on your body and sleep. We all respond slightly differently; choose the habits that provide the biggest benefit. Build them into a habit and you’ll be feeling more rested in no time.
If you need help restructuring your eating to better promote sleep, try our nutrition counseling sessions, free for all benefit eligible faculty and staff!