How what you eat affects your sleep
Reducing screen time before bed and getting regular exercise are touted as strategies for getting a better sleep, but there’s another important factor that many overlook — diet.
Associate professor of nutritional medicine and director of Sleep Center of Excellence at Columbia University, Dr Marie-Pierre St Onge, says diet can affect sleep quality, how quickly you fall asleep and whether or not you stay asleep.
“What we find is being associated with better sleep at night are foods that are implicated in the Mediterranean diet, so foods that are higher in fibre, wholegrains, fruits and vegetables, plant-based proteins, legumes,” she told Stephen Quartermain and Tony Leonard, filling in for Ross and Russel.
“Kiwifruit has been studied, cherries have been studied, certain varietals of tomatoes could also be good for sleep.”
Foods that are high in saturated fats, sugar and caffeine should be avoided in the hours before bed.
But it’s not just what you eat. When you eat also affects sleep quality.
“One should stop eating a couple of hours before going to bed just to let the body recover and process the foods that are being consumed before lying down,” Dr St Onge said.
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