Snack Your Way to Sleep

1820900101Much has been written lately on nighttime eating. While conventional wisdom advises against p.m. snacking, new information has arisen that may shed some new light on the situation.

While eating a heavy meal and going straight to bed is not a wise idea, eating a low calorie snack before bed could be advisable. What you eat, not when you eat it, could be the key to healthy bedtime eats.

Foods high in a naturally occurring chemical called tyramine, help to regulate blood pressure, but are shown to interfere with sleep. These foods include highly processed meats, aged cheeses, and soy sauce. Fatty foods also take longer to digest, causing difficulties in sleeping.

Foods high in tryptophan, the amino acid found in turkey and often blamed for Thanksgiving sleepiness, are good choices. Foods with high mineral content, such as the magnesium found in nuts, the potassium in bananas and calcium in low fat milk or yogurt, encourage muscles to relax, and promote sleep.

The links between sleep and maintaining a healthy weight are well documented. Eating the right foods at the right times (and avoiding the wrong ones) can be a catalyst for a good night’s sleep.

Sweet dreams!!!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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