Most people understand the difference between warm and cool colors. Paintings comprised of bright reds and yellows may evoke feelings of warmth, excitement, or even anger in the viewer.
On the other hand, a palette of blues, grays, and purples may give a sense of serenity, calmness, and peace.
This depends on the particular painting as well as the mood of the person taking in the scene.
You are wondering what does this have to do with a healthy diet for sleep?
The truth is, this simple concept in art can be taken and applied to different food groups in order to obtain a more restful sleep.
We aren’t talking about colors, though, when talking about foods and nutrition.
In an abstract sense, the individual parts of foods and beverages (such as amino acids, proteins, vitamins, etc.) can generally be categorized as calming (cool) or stimulating (warm) to the body.
Once you have a general understanding of how these foods and substances work in the body, you can create an internal atmosphere of peace and tranquility before bedtime.
Common Stimulants That Can Keep You Awake
Four common substances in foods that cause alertness are sugar, caffeine, tyramine, and taurine.
These substances all act to stimulate receptors in the brain and can make it difficult to fall asleep. We all know to try and avoid coffee and chocolate before bed, but tyramine and taurine are a little trickier because they ‘hide out’ in a variety of foods.
For example, tyramine can be found in cheeses, meat/fish, yeast, beans, overripe fruits and vegetables, beer, ale, wines, whiskey, various food additives and leftovers.
Typically any food left to age will produce more tyramine than when it is fresh, so be careful when it comes to tonight’s dinner! Taurine is most heavily concentrated in meats and seafood.
Common Relaxants That Can Aid Sleep
Tryptophan, serotonin, melatonin and magnesium all help calm the nerves and receptors in the brain and body, allowing you to fall into a more fulfilling state of rest. If you’re going to have a light snack before bed – no problem as long as your snack consists of foods and substances such as calcium that help you relax.
Turkey, bananas, oatmeal, almonds, flaxseeds and potatoes each contain some of these calming substances. Bananas have an exceptional amount of melatonin and serotonin, and also some magnesium and calcium and are one of the best bedtime snacks for this reason.
Just as a bystander may interpret a painting differently and may enjoy warmer colors over cooler ones in a painting, the way these substances influence depends on the person and their makeup.
For example, some people are able to drink a few cups of coffee before bed without losing a wink of sleep. Other people may be extremely sensitive to the substances listed and will have to pay closer attention to what they are eating closer to bedtime.
It is a proven fact that consuming alcohol before bed isn’t a good idea for restful sleep. While it may put you to sleep initially, here’s a good chance you’ll be restless and unable to get back to sleep later on.
When to Eat What for Better Sleep
As a general rule it is best to allocate the majority of proteins for breakfast and lunch, and eat a dinner containing some starch, such as potatoes or pasta. Just be sure to watch the portions on these at night, if you are trying to lose weight.
Soft drinks and foods containing caffeine should be avoided after midday, and if a midnight hunger pain strikes a banana or glass of milk are great options. Caffeine remains in the body for 24 hours so if you are particularly sensitive to caffeine it’s good to keep this in mind.
Diets with carbohydrate restrictions may cause sleep-loss in individuals sensitive to the common stimulants found in meat proteins. If you are on a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet and are losing sleep, consult a doctor or nutritionist to determine if your daily diet should be changed.
It is a good practice as far as your overall health if you don’t take in heavy snacks before bed before bed. Habitually going to bed on a full stomach can lead to weight gain and sometimes heart burn.
It’s also a good idea not to eat foods that are overly spicy before bed – if you’re going to have a spicy meal, have it at least three hours before retiring for the night.
Maintaining a healthy diet for good sleep doesn’t have to be difficult – just use some basic common sense and be aware of the foods that keep you awake and those that help you sleep, naturally!
If you want to improve your sleeps by changing your bed, you can choose the best memory foam mattress topper in this blog.
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