Do you have a hard time catching the zzzzz’s you need?  6-8 hours of quality sleep every night is necessary for your immune system, digestion, energy, and mental health.  It’s vital to recharge your body so you can conquer the day ahead!  Here are some nutritional tips to help you settle down for the night:

Keep your caffeine to a minimum, and only in the morning.
  Every body breaks down caffeine differently, but its effects always last longer than the initial buzz you feel.  It can take anywhere from 5-11 hours for your body to metabolize caffeine completely.  Limit your caffeine to less than 150mg per day (about one 8 oz coffee), and stick to drinking it in the morning.  For the caffeine content of different beverages, check out this page from the Mayo Clinic.

No meals or snacks within 2 hours of bedtime.
  While your body does require some restful time for digesting, the whole process does require quite a bit of energy.  It can be hard to get to sleep when your digestive organs are still hard at work!  Additionally, meals close to bedtime can result in weight gain and heartburn.

Make sure you’ve got magnesium in your diet.  Magnesium is necessary for relaxation in a number of different ways.  Good sources of magnesium include seeds (like sunflower or flax) and dark leafy greens.

Calm down with some herbal tea.  Chamomile tea can help your body prepare for sleep.  Take a few minutes away from the computer, television, or other distractions to clear your mind and help you settle down.

I was inspired to write this post after I heard a man talking about how he had a hard time falling asleep.  I overheard this at 7 o’clock in the evening.  After he finished his sentence, he took a big swig of the energy drink he had been holding!
3/19/2013 01:27:17 pm

Hey, I just wanted to say thanks for sharing this information. As you may be able to guess from the timing of this comment, I am usually up pretty late working. I have been needing to wake up earlier and earlier, but I am still staying up pretty late, so basically I have been getting less sleep overall lately. I have started to take melatonin supplements before falling asleep as I heard that this can improve the amount of quality REM sleep that you can experience. I think that it has been helping.

4/25/2013 11:45:44 am

The same goes for me to Steve, it just seems like some people tend to have those late night tendencies. A friend of mine also takes melatonin before going to sleep, and she has said that it is very helpful. I may have to consider picking some up the next time I am at the store.

4/26/2013 03:34:18 am

Hello. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this information as this I think is something that many people may overlook. I'll admit that I have a pretty high tolerance for caffeine, but recently I have been trying to cut back on drinking any after 6 or 7 at night. While this can be difficult sometimes, I certainly think it has been helpful for my sleeping habits.

6/19/2013 11:52:05 am

This was a very informative post. I wanted to leave a comment because this is my first time visiting your blog! I have always been a bit of a night owl, but I never realized that I could improve my sleeping schedule with better nutrition. Oh, and I'll be sure to avoid drinking any energy drinks after 7!


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