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Say Goodnight to Unhealthy Diet Habits for Better Sleep

Are you having trouble getting enough zzz’s? If so, it might be time for a quick inventory of your bed-time diet to avoid another round of tossing, turning and sleep deprivation come the next day.

Paul DeMiglio

Paul DeMiglio

Although a variety of health factors play a role in the duration and quality of your sleep, watching what you eat and drink is a good place to start.

Avoid going to bed hungry, but don’t eat a heavy meal either.
Having a light snack a few hours before bed helps your body achieve the hormonal balance it needs to fall asleep, especially for many of those with insomnia. Antonio Culebras, MD, neurology professor at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, says the following snacks are healthy choices before you hit the sheets:

  • Small bowl of cereal and milk
  • A few cookies
  • Toast
  • A small muffin

Be careful, though. Heaping on the portions will put your digestive system to work and risk keeping you up later as a result. Diabetes patients should discuss any diet regimen with a doctor first.

Stay away from alcohol or caffeine.
This doesn’t just mean the usual suspects like coffee and soda, but also extends to less-obvious options including chocolate, non-herbal teas, diet drugs and even some pain relievers.

Drinking matters.
One too many cups of your favorite beverage might mean more disruptive late-night trips to the bathroom.

Good diet choices are a step in the right direction to sleeping better, feeling better, and even saving health care costs. With 60 million Americans experiencing sleep disorders or sleep problems, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates associated medical expenses to be  $16 billion annually.

Have you tried to change your bedtime eating habits? Did it help you sleep? Share your story.