5 Foods That Help You Sleep

    5. Warm milk. We’ve all heard of warm milk’s magical ability to send us off to dreamland. Do you know why it’s true? Dairy foods contain tryptophan, which is a sleep-promoting substance. Other tryptophan-containing foods include poultry, bananas, oats, and honey. It’s also high in calcium, which promotes sleep.

    Foods That Keep You Awake

    Caffeine-containing foods top the list of foods that wake you up.

    Here’s why:

    • As a stimulant, caffeine speeds up the action of not only the nervous system, but of other major body systems, too. Within fifteen minutes of downing a cup of coffee, the level of adrenaline in your blood rises, which triggers an increase in heart rate, breathing rate, urinary output, and production of stomach acids. Basically, caffeine’s effects are the reverse of what you want to happen as you go to sleep.
    • Caffeine also prompts adrenal hormones to release sugar stored in the liver, which stimulates sugar cravings to replenish the stores. Caffeine heightens the roller coaster effect of blood sugar swings, producing a quick high after a morning cup of coffee, followed by a downturn in the afternoon.
    • Caffeine’s effects in the body are sort of like the law of gravity: what goes up must come down. The morning jolt is often followed by afternoon doldrums. Caffeine also makes it difficult to sleep well.

    Know your caffeine quota. Some persons are more caffeine-sensitive than others. Many adults can take up to 250 milligrams of caffeine a day (the average amount in 21/2 cups of coffee) and experience no sleep problems. Others get jitters after one cola.

    Time your caffeine boost. For most people, the effects of caffeine wear off within six hours, so coffee in the morning will usually not interfere with sleep in the evening. Caffeine-containing beverages at lunch may not affect your sleep, but coffee, tea, or cola in the evening is likely to keep you awake.
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