Sunday, January 8, 2012

Food for some Goodnight Sleep!

The exact serenity
I'm looking for!
I started my new year with lots of work and exams! Not really what I hoped for, but I saw it coming. So with my hectic schedule, I really need to feel energized, productive and mentally sharp all day; this is why I really have to make the best out of the few hours of sleep I have. I can't afford to oversleep nor insomnia, so to make the best out of my sleep, eating the right types of foods and avoiding those that keep me awake can be seriously crucial!

Foods that help me have that good night sleep!
  • Have a small snack before bedtime; it may help you sleep if you feel awfully hungry. But hey, this is surely not an excuse to eat your heart out. In fact, a large meal can make you uncomfortable, disturb your digestive tract and keep you off snoozing peacefully. 
  • Tryptophan containing foods have the ability to send us off to dreamland! Tryptophan is an amino acid that increases sleep promoting hormones which makes it easier to fall asleep. So have yourself some warm milk, nuts, seeds, soybeans, cheese, oatmeal, bananas, honey, egg whites, turkey or fish as part of your dinner.
  • Tryptophan’s drowsing ability is actually enhanced by combining it with some carbohydrates. Therefore an ideal small snack before bed can be, whole wheat toast (akid) with labne, cheese or turkey cuts, a sugarless bowl of cereal or oatmeal with some warm milk, yogurt and kaak or even a small sandwich of bananas, honey and some nuts.
Foods that will make you dream of goodnight sleep!

  • Your digestive system slows down when you sleep, so try not to indulge in greasy, sugary or salty foods because they can make you thirsty in the middle of the night, mess up your hormones and hence disrupt your sleep cycles, making you insomniac for longer. And no, chocolate doesn't help to sleep, I wish I can say otherwise. On the contrary, they'll provide one hell of a night and make it really harder for you to wake up the next morning!
  • Spicy foods can also disrupt digestion as well, increase your thirst and cause heartburn so keep them to a minimal at dinner. Actually, my tongue can't tolerate much spices, so this point is no problemo for me!
  • Try to have the smallest portion of proteins at dinner because they tend to be harder to digest. 
  • It’s pretty famous that foods and beverages containing caffeine will keep you alert and yes, coffee is an obvious source of caffeine, but it can also be hidden in soft drinks, chocolate, cocoa products and tea. Caffeine’s effect on the body can differ from one person to another, but try to cut down on caffeine 4-6 hours before you go to sleep. Good thing I don't rely on coffee to keep me awake, I consider this a blessing.
  • Note that some medications can also contain caffeine, such as pain relievers and cold medicines so check your med’s label to make sure it doesn’t cause insomnia. 
  • Cut your fluids at least 2 and a half hours before you go to bed, whether it’s juice, tea or water – they will just increase your trips to the bathroom! This is why I keep a bottle of water next to me at all times during the day and by 8-9 pm, no more fluids! Alcohol can also disrupt a good night sleep, contrary to the belief that it may provide a heavenly one. It may keep you restless, with nightmares and headaches and especially, in need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night! 
  • Even though I don't smoke, you better keep in mind that, just like caffeine, nicotine is also a stimulant so try to cut down on your smoking before you go to sleep or if you woke up in between.
Photo sources: Serene sleeping, Burger photo 



  1. Hey Paty! I was surprised by most of the points. I didn't know some medication may contain caffeine! I thought all cold medicine made you drowsy.

    Question, What types of tea DON'T contain caffeine? Sometimes I enjoy drinking zuhurat in the evenings. Will that disrupt my sleep?

  2. You mean to say that there's caffeine in hot chocolate as well?!

  3. Sareen well about zhurat don't usually contain caffeine, they are made from herbs, roses, chamomile, lavender, citrus lemon, all of which don't contain caffeine. Now unless zhurat had a type of tea in it that contains caffeine, that's another issue. But in general, they r good to go!

    As for teas, they contain less than coffee for sure. Ya3ne compared with 1 coffee latte from starbucks let's say, the coffee provides 150 mg caffeine while:
    - 1 cup of black tea has 50 mg
    - 1 cup green tea has 25-30 mg. Lipton green tea usually has 20 mg so it's the least among instant teas.

  4. And for the Queen of Hearts, hot chocolate usually contains 1/5 of the caffine in coffee. It may contain from 10 to 60 mg of caffeine per cup!

  5. Spices always give me heartburn if i have them in a huge meal at nigght, but in small amounts (bala te3ji2) and if i wait 2 hours before i sleep it is Okay! I love spciy food!