rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » DON'T fall for these food-related sleep myths!

DON'T fall for these food-related sleep myths!

Last updated on: April 30, 2012 14:24 IST

DON'T fall for these food-related sleep myths!

     Next

Next
Courtesy Gud2Eat.com

We dispel five popular beliefs about foods before bedtime.

If you've been abiding by the following practices, it's time you put an end to them. Read on to learn the reasoning behind our advice.

1. Carbohydrate snacks help you to sleep

A high sugar meal at night doesn't let you relax; instead, it leads to a roller-coaster cycle of plummeting blood sugar, followed by the release of stress hormones that will actually keep you awake.

An ideal bedtime snack contains both complex carbohydrates and protein and if possible some calcium. Calcium helps the brain use tryptophan (one of the 10 essential amino acids that the body uses to synthesise the proteins it needs) to produce melatonin (a hormone that regulates other hormones and maintains the body's circadian rhythm).


Photographs: Courtesy Gud2Eat.com
Tags: DON

     Next

2. Drinking colas at night doesn't interfere with sleep

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Foods and drinks that contain caffeine, if consumed at night will keep you awake -- caffeine speeds up the nervous system.

The effects of caffeine last for six hours, so caffeinated cola in the morning or afternoon is unlikely to keep you awake. But it's preferable to choose a healthy alternative rather than get addicted to the caffeine buzz -- it is also known to make children more hyperactive.


Photographs: Courtesy Gud2Eat.com
Tags:

Prev     Next

3. Chocolate milk at night keeps children awake

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

It's a myth that chocolate milk will keep a child awake. Milk contains sleep-inducing nutrients like tryptophan, carbohydrates and calcium.

It's also a myth that chocolate contains high levels of caffeine. Two chocolate chip cookies contain less than five milligrams of caffei#8800 one chocolate candy bar contains 10 mg of caffei#8800 and one packet of cocoa contains five mgs of caffeine.


Photographs: Courtesy Gud2Eat.com
Tags:

Prev     Next

4. It's not advisable to eat ice-cream before sleeping

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Ice-cream may help you to sleep, depending upon the portions you eat.

Too much sugar at night is likely to keep you awake, but ice-cream contains tryptophan, calcium, and protein from milk, plus extra carbohydrates from added sugar, thus helping you sleep peacefully.

Add almonds or dried cherries to increase tryptophan and natural melatonin respectively, both of which help promote sleep.


Photographs: Courtesy Gud2Eat.com
Tags:

Prev     Next

5. You should eat dinner as early as possible

Prev     More
Prev

More

It's a myth that you should eat at a particular time. Just give the body at least three hours to digest the night meal; it needs fuel to repair itself during the night, so choose healthier foods (complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, good fats, vegetables and fruit).

People with indigestion, heartburn, and gas problems definitely need proper time to digest their food for a good night's sleep.


Photographs: Courtesy Gud2Eat.com
Tags:

Prev     More