From Our 2012 Archives

Health Tip: Food Can Affect Sleep

(HealthDay News) -- What you eat and drink can have a big impact on your ability to fall or stay asleep. Many foods can make you feel drowsy, while others can cause trouble sleeping.

The National Sleep Foundation mentions these examples of foods and beverages that can affect your sleep:

  • Carbohydrate-laden foods make it easier for a sleep-inducing amino acid called tryptophan to reach the brain. Tryptophan is found in many protein rich-foods. So combining proteins and carbs makes for good pre-bedtime snacks. Examples include milk and cereal, cheese and crackers or peanut butter and toast.
  • Eating a big meal also can trigger sleepiness, particularly when it's heavy in carbohydrates.
  • Caffeine in the late afternoon or before bedtime can inhibit drowsiness, but can lead to trouble sleeping.
  • Energy drinks may temporarily boost energy levels, but they often cause a crash and ultimately can lead to drowsiness.
  • Alcohol can cause disruptions in sleep and inhibit entering the deep stages of sleep.

-- Diana Kohnle

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