Getting the proper amount of sleep is important for everyone, but it is especially important for any patient dealing with chronic pain. Lack of sleep tends to worsen symptoms, and when your pain is worse you have less restorative sleep, which makes pain worse the following day. It is a cyclical pattern that is best avoided at all costs. Here we identify what foods can help get you to sleep and what you should avoid.
What To Eat
Fish helps to boost Vitamin B6, which is a necessary nutrient to make melatonin. Fish like salmon, tuna and halibut are great choices.
Milk and Yogurt
Dairy products are high in calcium. There has been research showing that low levels of calcium make it more difficult to get a good night’s sleep. In addition, milk products contain tryptophan which also assists in sleep.
According to health.com, one small study that was done found that tart cherry juice had positive effects in improving sleep quality with people suffering with insomnia. Cherries contain melatonin naturally which can assist your biological clock and promote sleep.
Because jasmine rice has a high glycemic index, the body will digest it more slowly. This releases the glucose slowly into your system. Some believe jasmine rice may be high in tryptophan as well.
Bananas are high in magnesium, B6, and potassium, which promote sleep and cardiovascular health.
Whole grains are full of complex carbs and has sleep promoting benefits. Whole grains are also high in magnesium, which helps promote quality sleep.
What Not To Eat
Coffee and chocolate are two things that are high in caffeine. Both stimulate the nervous system which will make it more difficult to go to sleep at night.
All kinds of alcohol inhibit sleep. Because it metabolizes quickly it will cause you to wake up multiple times over the course of the night. It also has been shown to decrease the amount of time asleep. It can also cause snoring to be worse.
High Fat Foods
High fat foods increase the amount of acid production in the stomach, which causes acid reflux. Heartburn makes it much more difficult to get to sleep so it’s best to avoid high fat foods in the evening.