Monday, May 6, 2013

Foods to Help You Sleep Better at Night

I was listening to a podcast called "Dishing Up Nutrition" the other day.  Their main focus was how to get better sleep at night.  I thought FINALLY!  I was excited that the whole show would be devoted to this one topic that EVERYONE struggles with.  It may differ from night to night.  Sometimes I have a hard time falling asleep.  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night.  So it all depends.  

I've heard different things about what foods help you sleep at night, such as oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, popcorn, pretzels, bowl of cereal.  If you notice a pattern, all of those suggestions are HIGH-carb snacks.  IF you're having problems sleeping at night, you want to avoid HIGH-Carb foods.  Because the problem with HIGH-carb foods is that you get a high dose of Dopamine and then you crash afterwards- the feeling of "Wired-but-Tired."

The nutritionists on the podcast suggested the best type of snack is a Healthy FAT + CARB (fruit).  Here are some of the snacks they suggested to eat 1/2 hour to and hour before bedtime.

  1. 2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream + 1/4 c fruit
  2. 1/4 c coconut milk (canned, full fat) + 1/4 c berries
  3. Small Avocado + fruit
  4. Small apple or Celery + 2 Tbsp Peanut butter or Almond butter
  5. Small apple and 2-3 small slices of Cheese
  6. 1/4 c Nuts + fruit (I personally Love almonds and brazillian nuts)

They did mention also that EVEN if you wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall back asleep, they still ENCOURAGE you to grab one of the snacks listed above to help you FALL BACK ASLEEP.

I find it so fascinating that we can USE nutrition to help us feel better.  That's why I love their podcast.  It's basically reteaching us how to eat REAL food and avoid the processed crap.  But trust me, it's a journey because I still struggle with eating REAL food all the time.  But I know I feel better when I do eat REAL food.  So test it out for yourself.  The only way to find out is if you try it.  You are the best judge of your body and how you feel.  I only share what has worked for me, that doesn't mean it works for you.  You are the best JUDGE of YOU!

They also shared some natural supplements you can take to help with sleep.  
I will be sharing that in a future post. 

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