You always hear how you shouldn't eat anything before bed. But there are some foods that HELP you sleep better, as well as a bunch that make it harder. Yahoo has a list of the five best and worst foods to eat before bed.
Here are the five best:
1. Cereal and milk. Obviously sugary cereals are bad. But a healthy combination of carbohydrates and protein helps your body produce hormones that will help you relax before bed.
2. Passion fruit. You can eat the raw fruit, or drink passion fruit juice or tea. It contains a chemical called somniferum, which helps bring on sleep.
3. Bananas. They have a lot of magnesium, which is a muscle relaxant. And the potassium can also help regulate sleep patterns.
4. Cherry juice. It has extremely high levels of melatonin, a chemical in the brain that helps you relax. A recent study in a journal of nutrition found that people who drank two glasses of cherry juice a day slept an average of 39 minutes longer than usual.
5. Warm milk. This one might have more to do with the fact that it's warm, as opposed to any chemicals in the milk. So non-caffeinated tea would work just as well, if you don't load it up with sugar.
And here are the five WORST:
1. High-protein foods. Too much protein will just give you a lot of energy, and keep you awake longer. Sleep experts recommend high-carb snacks under 200 calories instead.
2. Alcohol. A lot of people get sleepy when they drink. But it won't last. You'll tend to wake up earlier and sleep less deeply all night.
3. Fatty foods. These can cause heartburn or upset stomach after you lie down.
4. Spicy foods. Sometimes you can have NIGHTMARES after eating spicy foods.
And one study also found that people who ate spicy foods before bed tended to have higher body temperatures in the first part of the night, which caused them to wake up more.
5. Caffeine. Obviously caffeine is bad before you go to sleep. But some people don't know that it keeps working for up to ten hours.
So if you're serious about getting a good night's sleep, you have to avoid caffeine pretty much from lunch until bedtime.