Foods to help you sleep

Foods to Help You Sleep Better During Any Holiday

Do you have a cookie exchange this week? Your work party next weekend? A big Christmas Eve dinner the next? This month is filled with fun events where you’ll surely be eating lots of yummy food, but some things you eat may cause you to have trouble sleeping. To help you stay healthy and sharp this holiday season, you should know which foods to eat to help you sleep and which ones to avoid.

Foods to Avoid For Better Sleep

Some snacks and drinks at holiday parties taste delicious but can keep you awake at night.

  • ALCOHOL. A glass of wine or cup of cheer can help you fall asleep, but alcohol contains tyramine, an amino acid that reduces REM sleep and causes frequent waking at night. So if you’re going to have a drink or two, have it at least 2 hours before you head to bed.
  • AGED CHEESE. Before perusing the cheese tray, keep in mind that aged and fermented foods have tyramine as well, which stimulates the brain to keep you from sleeping. Reach for fresh mozzarella instead.
  • ACIDIC OR SPICY FOODS. If you want to avoid heartburn throughout the night, stay away from tomato-based sauces or anything spicy for at least three hours before bedtime.

  

Holiday Foods to Help You Sleep Better

The last thing we want to tell you is not to enjoy traditional holiday treats. Some are just better than others for sleep, so choose wisely to avoid having trouble sleeping after the party.

  • TURKEY SANDWICH ON WHOLE WHEAT BREAD. Poultry contains tryptophan, which can make you sleepy. Whole grains don’t spike blood sugar levels like refined grains do, and whole grains also encourage the production of insulin, which helps neural pathways get tryptophan. Put turkey on a whole wheat sandwich and you’ve got a match made in sweet dream heaven.
  • NUTS. Grab the nearest nutcracker and get cracking. A handful of nuts can boost serotonin levels in the brain and also contain magnesium and tryptophan, which both naturally reduce muscle and nerve function and also steady your heart rhythm. Go for walnuts and almonds to pack the biggest sleep-inducing punch.
  • OATMEAL COOKIES. That tray of iced sugar cookies could keep you from falling asleep. Since oats are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone that helps to control the body’s sleep/wake cycle, reach for the oatmeal cookies instead.
  • CHERRY PIE. If you’re going to have dessert after a holiday dinner, go for the cherry pie. Tart cherries are a strong source of melatonin, which is known to help regulate the sleep cycle.
  • WARM MILK. Drinking anything warm raises your body temperature, which automatically makes you sleepy, and dairy contains sleep-inducing tryptophan. So ditch the evening cup of coffee and drink a warm glass of milk to help you drift off.

Still having trouble sleeping? You might need a new mattress.

If a change in your diet through the holidays doesn’t help you sleep, you may be uncomfortable in your bed. Head to Mark’s Mattress Outlet location to browse our huge selection of mattresses and pillows that could help you get a good night’s sleep in the new year.

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