Experts say what a person eats matters regarding the quality of their sleep. Dietitians suggest some simple guidelines to help people get more quality shuteye.
Nutritionists recommend a blood sugar-balanced meal 25 to 45 grams of quality protein. That can include a half plate of non-starchy vegetables, a quarter plate of fiber-rich carbohydrates, and olive oil as a healthy fat. The goal is to balance protein, fat, and fiber to create stable blood sugar.
Another tip is to avoid alcohol before bed.
“I know that we think that because alcohol makes us drowsy that it is going to give us a good night’s sleep,” said Tara Noseck, a registered dietitian & nutritionist from Las Vegas. “It’s actually quite the opposite.”
Noseck said alcohol suppresses REM sleep cycles, the period of sleep when the brain is most active. She recommends a person give themselves time to metabolize that glass of wine before going to sleep.
Additionally, Noseck recommends magnesium glycinate supplements as it is difficult for an average person to get enough magnesium in their diet.
“[Magnesium] can really create that systemic relaxation of the nervous system,” said Noseck. “If you’re someone that has trouble falling asleep at night, you just can’t unwind from your day, you’re feeling stressed, this is a game changer.”
Noseck says blue light from devices like phones, tablets, and laptops are also wrecking people’s sleep by limiting melatonin, a hormone that helps people fall asleep and stay asleep.
“When that blue light enters your eyes, the brain says, ‘Oh, it’s daytime. We’re gonna suppress production of melatonin,'” said Noseck