The Best Foods To Eat Before You Sleep
Sleep is a gift from the Lord. In Proverbs 3:24, the Word reminds us, “If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” Who wouldn’t want the benefit of sweet rest from God! Sleep is a necessary action for our brains through a cleansing cycle built into us that restores our minds while we slumber.
Your brain is the control center, the operating system from which everything connected to your body finds its channel of direction. And because of how essential your brain is, it needs adequate and restorative rest through sleep. This is beneficial because when we wake up we can move with clarity and be productive in decision making to help us live lives worthy of the remark.
I’m curious: How many hours of good sleep are you getting right now? If those hours are less than six, do you want to change that? Be encouraged because I want to help you!
I know what it’s like to have days on end with no sleep. I’ve experienced seasons of insomnia and understand how a lack of sleep can deeply and negatively impact our ability to take care of ourselves and our minds.
It also makes no sense for us to go to bed late at night and get up early, still not being able to get things done while experiencing the detriment of that. I know that some of us struggle with this – staying up late and being night owls, but then trying to rise with the morning roosters. It simply doesn’t work.
And when we don’t take care of ourselves in this way, we mistakenly think we can do it all by ourselves. We take on this mindset that we don’t need God and we try to live independent of Him. Don’t be lured into this trick of the evil one. Our need for the One True and Living God never extinguishes. He is all sufficient and we can rest and trust Him to take care of every one of our needs.
God has given us our own circadian rhythm that allows us to sleep at our own beat. It’s crucial that you find your own sleeping sweet spot: What time do you need to go to bed in order to get those seven to eight hours of good and restful sleep?
I’m discovering how foods are really helpful in supporting the restorative REM sleep that we need. REM sleep is defined as “a kind of sleep that occurs at intervals during the night and is characterized by rapid eye movements, more dreaming and bodily movement, and faster pulse and breathing.” Internal and external actions can increase our chances to get a good night’s sleep, including what we eat and drink.
It’s important to consider what you’re consuming and how it will affect your ability to enjoy that REM sweet sleep or wrestle with restless slumber. Here are some significant drink and food practices that can hinder your sleep and those that can enhance it:
No caffeine: Cut it off earlier in the day, between 3 pm and 5 pm. Having that drink or food with caffeine can affect your ability to sleep. Caffeine is directly correlated to insomnia. It stays in your system, increases your heart rate and very high doses can even cause you to be more anxious.
Do not overeat: When you eat more than what your body needs it makes it too difficult for your digestive system to wind down and prepare your organs for sleep. Overeating also causes you to gain weight. Watch your food intake before bed.
Say no to sugary, agitating foods: Don’t consume highly processed sugary drinks and desserts because they can negatively affect your sleep cycle. Also, avoid foods with simple sugars and foods that are spicy.
Love your teas: Chamomile tea, lavender tea, and passion fruit tea are great beverages before bed. Fruit teas and rooted teas are caffeine-free. They lower your heart rate and help your body prepare for bed. Valerian tea is also very good before bed and can be taken in pill form as well.
Warm milk: This favorite nighttime beverage for children is also great for adults. Warm milk produces niacin and helps trigger melatonin in our bodies, which we need for sleep. Niacin is responsible for producing serotonin, which creates relaxation. If you can’t consume dairy milk, consider a plant-based beverage like warm coconut milk, almond milk or pea protein milk instead and couple it with a light snack that naturally has niacin.
Eat sooner: Aim to eat dinner no later than 8 pm and stop eating about an hour or two before you go to bed. This will give your digestive system time to process some of your dinner before you sleep.
Eat better foods: Jasmine rice cooked with coconut oil is a wonderful grain that’s good for muscle relaxation and gives the body potassium. Sweet potatoes are also good and fish like tuna and salmon are great sources of vitamin B-6, which produces melatonin and serotonin.
I’d love to know what foods are you going to take out of your lifestyle? What foods are you going to add? Comment below and let me know what actions you plan to make. It’s also worth the time to do some research on your own and discover more nutrition tips that can support your personal sleep experience.
As you grow in this area, I want you to learn how to live the contemplative lifestyle so you are mindful of what you’re taking into your life and body. Make the decision to be the best version of you as the Remarkable Woman. I know stress is real but we can counter it by caring well for our bodies with good sleep and eating choices.
Remember to continue to rest in God as you build your best life!