Foods that make you sleepy

7 Foods That Can Help or Harm Your Sleep

by Sleep Number

There's nothing more satisfying than a great night's sleep. By knowing more about the foods you are eating, you can help tailor your diet to increase the quality of your sleep.

We all know the important role that food plays in our lives. Check out these 7 foods that are capable of helping or harming your night. Incorporating these 7 tips into your diet is the recipe for improving how you feel when you open your eyes in the AM.

1. Trytophan-Rich Foods

Our mother used to always offer us the option of a warm glass of milk before bedtime, and it turns out that beverage did more than just quench our thirst. Dairy foods contain tryptophan, which is a sleep-promoting substance. Tryptophan can also be found in bananas, honey, eggs, and nuts. It's a quick and easy way to get your body ready for sleep.

2. Indulge Your Carb Craving

Finally a good reason to munch down on a plate full of carbohydrates. Most carbs also contain tryptophan, so a late night snack of break and cheese or cereal with milk could be a perfect combo for delivering a solid dose of sleep.

3. Put Down the Burger and Fries

Avoiding high-fat foods is a key to any successful diet, but it also works when trying to improve your overall sleep. Foods high in fat not only cause weight gain, but they cause a disruption of our sleep cycles. Too heavy of a meal before bed can activate the digestive process, which could mean a bunch of nighttime trips to the bathroom.

4. Beware of Hidden Caffeine

It's common sense to avoid caffeine before bed, but that energizing stimulant comes in more than just espressos. Things like chocolate, soda, and tea contain enough caffeine to throw off your sleep cycle. The best rule is to eliminate any caffeine from your diet four to six hours before your bedtime.

5. Skip the Nightcap

One popular home sleep myth is the use of a stiff nightcap. While a drink could help you fall asleep faster, it might result in you waking up more than normal. Some side effects of a nightcap could be headaches, night sweats, nightmares, and an overall less restful sleep. Don't mortgage your night's sleep just to get to bed sooner.

6. Fluid Curfew

It is definitely important to remain hydrated throughout the night, but too much of a good thing could be causing you problems. Drinking liquids after 8 PM could mean numerous trips to the bathroom, and a restless night sleep. Consider that next time you're feeling parched before bed.

7. The Myth of a Relaxing Smoke

Smoking a cigarette to relax is better suited for a bar than before bed. Nicotine is a stimulant with effects that are similar to caffeine. If you have a cigarette habit, you should consider cutting off your intake a few hours before bed. That's one tip you won't read on the side of your cigarette box.

By incorporating these 7 tips into your day, you can increase the chances that you'll wake happy and refreshed.

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