Eat to Sleep

Eat to Sleep

Find out which foods will help you get a good night's sleep and which won't. Restorative sleep is important, but it's even more so when you have chronic pain. Adjust your diet and eating habits, and perhaps you'll rest more comfortably. 

Conditions: Migraine, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed pain

Symptoms: Fatigue, difficulty sleeping, insomnia, unrefreshing sleep, pain at night

Triggers:

Treatments:

Categories: Food

Duration

7

Nibble at Night

If you toss and turn and find it hard to get to sleep, a little food in your stomach may help. But don't pig out. A heavy meal will tax your digestive system, making you uncomfortable and unable to get soothing rest.

Keep the snack small, and make sure to finish it an hour before bedtime.

Prompt: Woo sleep.

CTA: Treat yourself to a bedtime snack.

Conditions: Migraine, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed pain

Symptoms: Fatigue, difficulty sleeping, insomnia, unrefreshing sleep, pain at night

Triggers:

Treatments:

Categories: Food

A Lullaby of Carbs

On nights when sleep won't come, a snack might be in order. A combo of carbs and dairy will help lull you to sleep. Try:

* Crackers with cheese

* Toast with milk

* Cereal mixed with yogurt

Prompt: Are you still up?

CTA:  The right food can help ZZZs.

Conditions: Migraine, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed pain

Symptoms: Fatigue, difficulty sleeping, insomnia, unrefreshing sleep, pain at night

Triggers:

Treatments:

Categories: Food

Hidden Caffeine

You know that an evening cup of coffee might ruin your sleep. But don't forget about less obvious caffeine sources, like:

* Chocolate

* Cocoa

* Cola

* Decaffeinated coffee

* Tea

Even small amounts in chocolate and decaffeinated drinks can keep you awake. For better sleep, cut all caffeine from your diet 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.

Prompt: Buzzing at bedtime?

CTA: Be wary of food and drink.

Conditions: Migraine, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed pain

Symptoms: Fatigue, difficulty sleeping, insomnia, unrefreshing sleep, pain at night

Triggers:

Treatments:

Categories: Food

Alcohol and Sleep

Here's the catch-22 with alcohol: You might fall asleep faster, but it can kick back later. For instance, your sleep may be disturbed by:

* Several wake-ups

* Tossing and turning

* Night sweats

* Nightmares

For a good night's sleep, it's wise to avoid alcohol 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.

Prompt: Skip the nightcap.

CTA: Avoid alcohol close to bedtime.

Conditions: Migraine, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed pain

Symptoms: Fatigue, difficulty sleeping, insomnia, unrefreshing sleep, pain at night

Triggers:

Treatments:

Categories: Food

Spicy Doesn't Snooze

Beware of heavy, highly spiced foods. If you lie down with a full belly, you might start feeling uncomfortable. Your digestive system slows down when you sleep, and you may end up with a sleep-robbing case of heartburn. Make sure to finish your big meal at least 4 hours before bedtime.

Prompt: Hot night?

CTA: Save the spice for your social life.

Conditions: Migraine, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, undiagnosed pain

Symptoms: Fatigue, difficulty sleeping, insomnia, unrefreshing sleep, pain at night

Triggers:

Treatments:

Categories: Food

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on January 23, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

National Sleep Foundation: "Food and Sleep," "Jet Lag and Sleep," "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia," "Can't Sleep? What to Know About Insomnia," "The Sleep Environment."

Sleep.com: "Eating Before Bed -- The Good and the Bad."

HowStuffWorks.com: "How Caffeine Works."

KidsHealth.org: "What Is Caffeine?"

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point: "Caffeine Containing Products."

University of Maryland Medical Center, Sleep Disorders Center: "Sleep Hygiene: Helpful Hints to Help You Sleep."

HelpGuide.org: "How to Sleep Better."

American Academy of Sleep Medicine: "Sleep Hygiene -- The Healthy Habits of Good Sleep."

Tworoger, S. Sleep, November 2003.

Sleepbetter.org: "17 Healthful Sleep Tips."

National Institutes of Health: "Facts About Insomnia."

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