Foods That Help or Hurt Your Shut-eye
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Michael Smith, MDYou know, a bedtime snack is actually a good idea. You don't ever want to go to bed hungry because that'll just keep you awake. But really the trick is to find the right proportion of nutrients. So people have heard of tryptophan. You often associate it with Thanksgiving and turkey. But it's actually complex carbohydrates that raise levels of tryptophan the most.
Michael Smith, MDAnd what that is is it's an amino acid... ...that raises brain chemical serotonin levels, which then helps you sleep. You want to combine a complex carbohydrate with a protein... ...something like 100% whole-grain chips with low-fat cottage cheese... ...a banana with some Greek low-fat yogurt, something that combines the two. But really, anything that gets your diet in shape... ...is going to get your sleep in shape.
Michael Smith, MDThere are some foods that are actually bad for sleep. So the most obvious is caffeine -- many people have heard of that. But what many people don't realize is just how long it sticks around in your system. Anywhere from 6 hours to even up to 14 hours... ...depending on the person, or even medications that you take. So a good rule of thumb, especially if you have trouble falling asleep... ...is no caffeine after about noon to make sure it gets all out of your system.
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