To eat, or not to eat - that is the question! An
unspoken rule when trying to catch a good night's sleep is to ditch
caffeine and cheese but what should you really avoid? We're going
to investigate the midnight snacks that will either take you to the
land of nod or keep you up all night.
- Tryptophan is an amino acid that's
believed to induce sleep. This is because it's a precursor to the
sleep-inducing chemicals serotonin and melatonin in the brain.
Tryptophan is present in small amounts in most protein-rich foods
and in higher amounts in yoghurt, milk, oats, bananas, dates,
poultry, eggs and peanuts. With that much good stuff, it's hard to
- Combine these tasty,
high-tryptophan treats with rice, pasta or potatoes to help the
body get the most benefits from tryptophan. Try a chicken and
noodle stir-fry or similar. Drink warm milk with a cracker or
oatcake before bed - you'll feel so relaxed…
- Sleep is all about routine.
Forming regular eating patterns will make it easier to fall asleep
in the evening. It's a good idea to eat dinner four hours before
going to sleep and to establish a ritual, such as drinking a sleepy
tea before bed.
- Reduce your caffeine intake
gradually. Try decaffeinated coffee or caffeine-free drinks like
red bush tea.
- Build relaxation and exercise into
the day to help manage stress: although not food-related, this is
important and helps get those insides working!
- Why not swap sugary cereal for a
wholegrain alternative, topped with milk and a sliced banana