Are you informed about the basics of getting yourself to sleep by what you eat? It’s hard to believe but what you eat all day has an important influence on how you sleep. This is especially true for the hours in the late afternoon and early evening. Here are the main everyday factors that have an effect on a peaceful night’s sleep:

1. Eat a light to moderate dinner meal at least three hours before your bedtime so your food can digest completely. Because your digestive system slows at night, heavier meals closer to bedtime are difficult to digest and can remain in the stomach, interfering with going to sleep.

2. Better still, eat your largest meal of the day at lunchtime, leaving nighttime for warm, light, easily-digestible meals.

3. A light snack containing mostly carbohydrates and a little protein (such as an apple and cheese or yogurt) shortly before bedtime is an ideal way to avoid going to bed hungry or out of balance with blood sugar.

4. Certain foods are sleep promoting or have a calming, sedative effect. Among these are green, leafy vegetables, especially lettuce, whole grains (wheat, brown rice, oats), mushrooms, fruit and the spices dill and basil.

5. Certain foods increase serotonin, the neurotransmitter that promotes sleep (more about this later). These include breads and other complex carbohydrates, legumes, peanuts, fish and poultry.

6. Remember tryptophan. We’ve all heard how turkey makes us sleepy after the Thanksgiving meal, but there are other foods containing tryptophan that do the same. Among these are yogurt, milk, bananas, figs, dates, milk, tuna, nut butters, grapefruit and whole grain crackers.

7. And last, but not least, your grandmother was right! Warm milk with a little honey is an ideal pre-bedtime, sleep-inducing snack.

Think about being good to your body by considering what you eat at night as one way to get a restful night’s slumber.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Marcia Lindsey is a sleep coach/psychologist who trains individuals and groups to change the mental and physical roadblocks getting in the way of good sleep. To get your 10 sleep tips go to thesleepdiva.com.