A few months back I wrote a post that covered a study revealing that sleep can help you lose weight. It suggested that a rested mind makes better food choices and a tired mind goes straight for the fast food options. It all made logical sense to me, so I was more than happy to include more sleep into my weight loss programme, especially when I love my sleep too.
Unfortunately, as much as I would love to have more sleep, the reality of life doesn’t always allow it, kids don’t allow lie-ins, busy days sometimes means late nights, and busy days and late nights often times mean a hyperactive mind, which means restless nights 🙁
So if I could overcome any one of the above obstacles, I would increase my shuteye time… Mmmm, getting the kids to lie-in – impossible, have less busy days – unlikely, so that leaves restless nights, how do I overcome restless nights?
What? If I eat or don’t eat certain foods before I hit the sack, it could make all the difference to a peaceful nights sleep, so what foods should I be eating?
To answer that question, TODAY diet and nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D, Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS), have the answers…
Snacks Before Bedtime For Better Sleep
“There’s nothing that will help you get to sleep immediately,” says Fernstrom. “It’s more the behavioral part of it — the warmth, the settling down.”
The best sleepy-time snacks are palatable, comforting, warm and around 150 to 200 calories, she says, and should be consumed no closer than a half hour before you go to bed. Her suggestions:
Caffeine-free tea or sugar-free hot chocolate. Fernstrom says something that you sip slowly, with your feet up, will generally help you relax.
A handful of dry cereal or slice of whole wheat toast. “Starch is typically good because it’s low in fat and has a soothing quality. Most people don’t want to crunch on raw vegetables before bed.”
Graham crackers. Low in fat and moderate in sugar, these puppies are fairly low in calories and may bring on warm, fuzzy childhood memories — and zzzzs.
Yep, warm milk.“Warm milk doesn’t put you to sleep because of its biological effect,” says Fernstrom. “It puts you to sleep because of the soothing effect. Someone will say, my mom used to bring me hot milk and read me a story. You sip it slowly and you automatically have a down time before going to sleep.”
So if I follow Fernstrom’s suggestions for sleepy-time snacks, I should have better night’s sleeps and if I have better nights sleeps, I should be able to comfortably make better food choices, it’s like a catch 22 that I totally love.
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