Health

How to sleep: Make this your evening meal to get a good night’s sleep

Sleep loss does not stop at undermining your mental faculties - it can make you prone to serious medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Merely contemplating the health risks associated with sleep loss will not reset your body clock, however. You have to implement concrete steps to solve it.

Fortunately, those steps can be surprisingly simple, such as tweaking your diet.

The food you eat before bed can have an outsized impact on the quality of your sleep.

For example, research has shown that high-carb meals may be detrimental to a good night's rest.

A review of studies concluded that even though a high-carb diet can get you to fall asleep faster, it won't be restful sleep.

So, what should you have instead?

Instead, high-fat meals could promote a deeper and more restful sleep, research suggests.

In fact, several older and newer studies agree that a high-carb/low-fat diet significantly decreased the quality of sleep compared to a low-carb/high-fat diet.

This held true in situations where the high-carb/low-fat diets and the low-carb/high-fat diets contained the same amount of calories.

Oily fish, also known as fatty fish, are some of the best low-carb/high-fat sources.

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In fact, the combination of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D found in fatty fish has the potential to enhance sleep quality, as both have been shown to increase the production of serotonin.

Serotonin is a chemical responsible for stimulating the parts of the brain that control sleep and waking.

In one study, men who ate 10.5 ounces (300 grams) of Atlantic salmon three times a week for six months fell asleep about 10 minutes faster than men who ate chicken, beef, or pork.

This effect was thought to be the result of vitamin D.


Those in the fish group had higher levels of vitamin D, which was linked to a significant improvement in sleep quality.

Eating a few ounces of fatty fish before bed may help you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply.

If you still want to eat a high-carb meal for dinner, you should eat it at least four hours before bed so you have enough time to digest it, research suggests.

General tips to aid sleep loss

If you have difficulty falling asleep, a regular bedtime routine will help you wind down and prepare for bed.


This programmes the brain and internal body clock to get used to a set routine," explains the NHS.

Most adults need between six and nine hours of sleep every night.

By working out what time you need to wake up, you can set a regular bedtime schedule, says the NHS.

"It is also important to try and wake up at the same time every day," it adds.



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