Sleep Hack: Swapping the food for dinner might help you fall asleep

In order to be as productive as possible throughout the day, we need a good night’s sleep.

You might think you’ve tried every snooze trick in the book, but experts say what you eat could also have an impact.

Directly above shot of alarm clock in plate amidst fork and table knife on a wooden table


Directly above shot of alarm clock in plate amidst fork and table knife on a wooden tablePhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

NHS guidelines say you shouldn’t eat large meals just before bedtime as it can disturb your sleep.

Eating dinner a little earlier will help, as will adding protein to your diet, experts say.

the charity sleep states that proteins help maintain stable blood sugar levels.

High-protein foods to include in your diet include:

  • lean meat
  • chicken
  • Turkey
  • fish
  • eggs
  • tofu
  • beans and legumes
  • nuts

While protein shakes and yogurts High in protein can be an easy way to boost your levels. Be careful as they can also contain caffeine and a lot of sugar.

The experts explained: “Proteins help keep blood sugar levels stable during sleep and switch the body from the alert adrenaline cycle to rest-and-digest mode, while complex carbohydrates increase the availability of tryptophan in the bloodstream.

“Tryptophan is the amino acid the body uses to make sleep-inducing serotonin and melatonin, the relaxing neurotransmitters that slow nerve traffic and stall the brain.”

Experts previously revealed that foods like homous, almonds, and walnuts are all foods that help you drift off — and are high in protein.

Doctor of Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine, Alex Dimitru said if you wake up in the middle of the night it could be because you’re still hungry.

He suggested adding Homous to your meal as it’s a great source of tryptophan, which the body uses to make melatonin and serotonin.

“Melatonin helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, and serotonin is believed to help regulate appetite, sleep, mood, and pain,” he added.

Alex also explained that almonds contain tryptophan and magnesium, both of which help to naturally reduce muscle and nerve function while stabilizing your heart rhythm, Alex said.

If you don’t feel like munching on nuts, then he said almond butter will also have the same effect.

“Spread it on crackers, a banana, or a piece of toast when your late-night cravings hit. Be careful not to overdo it, though, and keep your dab under a tablespoon so you don’t feel overly full before trying to rest,” he added.

Alex said if almonds weren’t for you, you might try walnuts as they contain some compounds that help you sleep better at night, like melatonin, serotonin, and magnesium.

“Walnuts are fantastic when chopped up and added to a fresh salad, as a topping on muesli or yogurt, or on their own as a crunchy alternative to chips or unhealthy nuts,” he added.

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