Sleepy Foods?

I read and hear from people how they don’t sleep well the night before a race or how they are unable to sleep at all.  I don’t have any problems going to sleep.  As soon as the TV is off and my head hits the pillows the Zzzzzz’s start rolling, even on race night.


Large meal with alcohol will not be good for sleep

As I have previously written sleep is vital to recovery.  As you sleep your body is repairing your muscles from the day’s activities and also preparing them for the next days workout.  I always wonder if my ability to sleep, and others ability not to sleep is based on what they ate and also when.  Did they drink a food heavy in carbohydrates?  Did I eat a lot of sugar?  So many different scenarios and a little research led me to Competitor magazine.

The article in Competitor magazine provided sleep helpers and sleep deterrents.  The sleep helper consisted of tryptophan, which many of you will automatically link to Thanksgiving (the greatest holiday in all the land) and people falling asleep on the couch watching football.

Foods rich in this natural chemical include poultry, eggs and dairy. Research shows that eating a tryptophan-containing food in moderation as part of an evening meal may help induce sleep faster and lead to a better quality of sleep.

Carbohydrates in foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains initiate an insulin response that helps tryptophan reach and act upon the brain. However, avoid sugary, starchy carbohydrates, which can lead to disturbed sleep.

Selective herbal teas such as chamomile, peppermint or valerian root might help some people sleep better. The warm, comforting drink along with relaxing herbs can promote sleep. (Just make sure you buy a non-caffeinated kind.)

The perfect meal would be 1 egg on whole grain bread with a cup of tea approximately 1 to 2 hours prior to sleep.


Sugary Drinks and a heavy meal will not help with your sleep

The deterrents included the obvious in coffee, caffeinated teas, energy drinks, alcohol in excess, and hyper-hydration.  It also pointed out when to eat food, but not to be too heavy in protein and fats or spicy. These foods are harder to digest, and although large meals might make you sleepy immediately, slow or difficult digestion means disturbed and lower-quality sleep.

But don’t go to bed overly hungry—a growling stomach and hunger pains do not make for a restful night. If you really need a snack after dinner, eat something small and preferably containing tryptophan, such as a warm glass of milk. (Grandma may have been right after all.)


How do you sleep? What do you do to help you sleep?


To read the full article click [HERE]

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  1. jim says:

    I notice this more when I travel for work, and sometimes struggle with late meals that are high in starch or sugar. On those nights often I am awakened a few hours after I fall asleep with stomach issues. I never thought about mixing tryptophan -high foods late in the day – makes sense!
    jim recently posted..Sittin’ Here Waitin’ For The Sun To Come UpMy Profile

  2. Michael says:

    Lately I’ve been having trouble sleeping for sure, but that’s just do to my shoulder pain and sleeping in an odd position. I have found that daily exercise has changed my sleep patterns dramatically. I used to never sleep well, but now I’m just so tired I’m asleep most nights when my head hits the pillow….unless I’ve had caffeine late, then I will be up all night.
    Michael recently posted..I Love Gimmicky RacesMy Profile

  3. Jeff Irvin says:

    Only thing that ever keeps me awake is my job but that can be solved with a 6-pack of Shiner!
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Marketeers are in my head …My Profile

  4. Chuck says:

    Man, I eat plenty before bed and then pass the F out. Although… I’m zonked by the end of the day no matter what lol
    Chuck recently posted..If you don’t know who you are…My Profile

    • CTER says:

      Yea, but you are passing out at 3am brother. Gotta get to bed sooner……HA! And yes, I will keep harping on this until I get comments at times that are not at midnight.

  5. marlene says:

    Good tips!! I have a bad habit of eating too heavily the night before a race – I need to get “carb loading” out of my head. A hot bath usually helps me wind down!
    marlene recently posted..Week 15My Profile

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