View Full Version : 8 Perfect Sleep-Better Foods

09-23-2009, 05:12 PM
Forget what your mom told you: A glass of warm milk before bed might actually keep you up, rather than lull you to sleep. See, the protein in the milk will boost alertness--and unless it's skim, the fat will slow your digestion, making your rest more fitful. Not exactly the best shut-eye remedy. (Sorry, mom.)
Nothing makes it harder to fall asleep than knowing how important it is to fall asleep. So when the pressure's on, try chowing down on one of these snacks before bedtime to ensure some serious shut-eye; they're all hand-picked and approved by the Eat This, Not That! nutrition team. These 8 sleep-better foods and drinks have been shown to induce feel-good relaxation chemicals, calming your nerves and slowing your racing brain. You can thank us ... tomorrow morning--after a long, restful night.

Pop a bag half an hour before bedtime: The carbs will induce your body to create serotonin, a neurochemical that makes you feel relaxed. Skipping the butter-fat will slow the process of boosting those feel-good chemicals, and, as mentioned above, will also slow digestion in general.

Sleep is inspired by the hormone melatonin, but stress or excitement can disrupt melatonin's release. Bring your brain back down to earth by whipping up a bowl of instant oatmeal and topping it with a sliced banana, which is rich in melatonin.

Related: Something else that helps you sleep: A good workout, early in the day. Click here for the upgraded Men's Health iPhone app. You'll always have workouts on hand!

Scientists in Slovakia gave people either 3 grams each of two amino acids (lysine and arginine) or a placebo and asked them to deliver a speech. Blood measurements of stress hormones revealed that the amino acid-fortified speakers were half as anxious during and after the speech as those who took the placebo. Yogurt is one of the best food sources of lysine; nuts pack tons of arginine. Because both contain alertness-inducing protein, you're best off eating this combo a few hours before bed (or even at midday, before a big, stressful presentation at work). It'll reduce the residual stress you feel later in the evening, meaning you won't replay your day over and over again in your head as you try to fall asleep.

Sesame seeds are one of the best natural sources of tryptophan, the sleep-inducing amino acid responsible for all of those post-Thanksgiving turkey comas. Hold off on the turkey sammies, though-the protein in the turkey might offset the tryptophan's benefit.

Pretzels are a low-calorie, low-fat source of carbohydrates, which will make you feel sleepy, but won't pack on the pounds or give you belly-aching indigestion.

Related: Check out which pretzel made it onto our list of the 125 Healthiest Supermarket Foods in America.

It's called a "nightcap" for a reason--a glass of wine really does take the edge off. University of Toronto researchers discovered that one alcoholic drink caused people's blood vessels to relax--but two began to reverse the effects, so limit your intake. Relaxed blood vessels means lower blood pressure, slower heart rate, and greater ability to relax in general.

Cherry juice has serotonin-inducing carbohydrates, which will help relax you. Down the cherry juice an hour before bedtime, in case you feel a small jolt of energy from the sugar. There's not enough to keep you up all night or destabilize your blood sugar levels.

Researchers at the University of Alabama fed rats 200 milligrams of vitamin C twice a day and found that it nearly stopped the secretion of cortisol, a hormone released in your body when you're stressed. Calorie for calorie, red bell peppers give you more vitamin C than any other fruit or vegetable.

And for more great advice like this, get the next book in the best-selling series: Eat This, Not That! 2010 Edition. It's completely updated and expanded to include all of the latest restaurant and supermarket foods! Sign up for your free Eat This, Not That newsletter--with daily no-diet weight-loss tips delivered straight to your inbox, losing weight has never been easier.

Nothing better than wine and pretzels. :)

Ian Gills
09-23-2009, 06:11 PM
I agree with the wine! But with a couple of Miller Genuine Draft chasers (the best beer in America) on top of that, you really do get some shut eye.

I am about to start my beer now.

Dunbar Plumbing
09-23-2009, 07:15 PM
I got white castles and onion chips on their way to put me to sleep.

I've got my own alarm as the gas will wake me up at 4-5am reminding me the next one will have me running to the bathroom if I don't want to make a night deposit on my bed. :eek:

Who really needs coffee? :D

09-24-2009, 03:27 PM
Well, I did the glass of wine last night, but then in the middle of the night, I was awake,
I had the wierdest dreams, almost like I was 30 years younger.
I don't normally wake up at the right time to remember dreams.
One I was trying to get a non-motorized kid like car across a piece of plywood across some water with some boards in the way.
Or something like that.
And I'm wasting energy trying to figure out how to do it.

Ian Gills
09-24-2009, 04:19 PM
My recurring dreams are:

1) death by tornado (as already discussed)

2) unsafe lift. Here I keep going up and down a very tall building in an elevator (80 plus stories). Then, it either falls to the ground very quickly or, sometimes, races up to the top of the building, doesn't slow down for the top and breaks through.

I die in all of these dreams. I wake up with twitchy legs every time I have a vivid dream. I quite like them.

Oh, and then there is the recurring nightmare I really do dislike:

3) pothole. I am running away from someone, climb through a small hole into a small space, but then can't get out through the hole when the coast is clear. The hole and the small space is normally concrete. Other times I am climbing through a metal duct and get stuck.

3 means I would probably not be good at doing crawlspaces.

4) Then there are the school exams. I am back at school doing my exams, but seem to have forgotten to do any revision! Consequently I do not know the answers to any of the questions. I sit there convinced I already have passed these exams and have a number of university degrees (which in real life, I of course have), but no one believes me when I try to tell them.

Very rarely I get one of my favorite dreams:

1) driving a very expensive, fast car

2) running very fast and for a long time, feeling fitter than I ever have done.

Trust me when I say that I hate waking up from these.

One way I can guarantee will generate vivid dreams is to go to sleep with one leg under the covers and one sticking out. The contrast between the hot and cold on your body will freak your mind into crazy dream time.

09-24-2009, 08:16 PM
Terry, it sounds like you are trying to move ahead, (maybe feeling on not so solid ground (water)) by either, will power or physicial inertia (non-motorized), and you see an obstacle in your path.

Sounds like maybe, since you put plywood down you are trying to strengthen the road (task) ahead.

09-24-2009, 08:29 PM
I think, Ian, #2 about the lift, is showing how you feel that life can be a series of ups & downs and sometimes, and we have very little if any, control over the speed and power to which the ups & downs effect our lives.

09-24-2009, 09:22 PM
Ian, #4, you say you are back at school feeling, unsure and trying to convince yourself you already passed the exams. To me, it says maybe, you feel uncertain about what you want to do, (you don't have the answers as to exactly what) and you might be trying to justify your uncertainties instead of confronting them. ( you already passed the exams)

You as well as many others in life, might want to change it, change what we do for a living, change how we make a buck or spend our days, you might be feeling you want to revise your life?

You haven't forgotten to do a revision, you just need to, your dream is giving you insight into that part of you. I think in your dream it is not that the people don't believe you have the degrees, as much as I think it is maybe, symbolic to you, that if you changed professions or jobs or careers, you might think that people couldn't believe it! They will be aghast. To me, I do not care what others think for it is your life, and you only have one life to live, and when it is over, you go it alone; or you grow old and have regrets.

So many people think, what we chose to do at 18 or 21, is what we must still be doing when 20 or 30 years older! Because we studied it for 2 years or 4 years, and spent thousands of dollars.

”This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
- Shakespeare - Hamlet -

Dunbar Plumbing
09-24-2009, 09:45 PM
Oreo Cookies,

20 pounds of them a week.

You will sleep like a baby with some milk.

Ian Gills
09-25-2009, 10:12 AM
I think Terry's dream symbolizes a very sad inner conflict. He loves Cadet 3s you see, but can't come to terms with telling that to his friends and family.

09-25-2009, 10:30 AM
American Standard?
33% defects in the last two weeks for us.
We are doing another A/S install today, we are crossing our fingers.
I wish I could charge American Standard for all their factory screw ups.

Toto, less then 1%

But Cookie may be right,
I am definitely trying to figure out some things this week.

Ian Gills
09-25-2009, 10:46 AM
American Standard?
33% defects in the last two weeks for us.
We are doing another A/S install today, we are crossing our fingers.
I wish I could charge American Standard for all their factory screw ups.

We love the ones that hurt us Terry.

09-25-2009, 04:33 PM
Crossing the fingers works.
We were able to install an American Standard today without a defect.

Now Jamie's installing two Sanagloss TOTO Ultramax toilets in Sammamish and a TOTO Aquia in Redmond.

I guess I'm sleeping better already.

Though I did space a doctors apointment today.
Geez, I had one today?
So that makes it two on Monday now and one on Wednesday next week.
It's starting to ramp up on me.

Ian Gills
09-25-2009, 04:47 PM
Well I had a blood test on Tuesday and my arm has got the most God awful bruise on it. I think the nurse was a beginner.

09-25-2009, 05:01 PM
Well I had a blood test on Tuesday and my arm has got the most God awful bruise on it. I think the nurse was a beginner.

Lately they keep sticking needles in my elbow.
Looks fine so far. She asked what I did,


"Oh Good!"
"Plumbers have big veins"
As she squeezed my arm and stuck me with the needle.

Ian Gills
09-25-2009, 05:44 PM
My veins are good and deep, which happens to people that do plumbing and then electrical work (without drying off first).

Look at the mess the nurse made.

The only other time I get marks like that is when my wife hits me.


12-31-2009, 09:38 PM
My grandmother used to use SS tonic. That stuff had to be 90 proof back then, I think it's become less so now, but she wouldn't touch an alcoholic drink. I have seen her take a nip of vanilla too.


01-18-2010, 02:57 AM
Before I used to have a regular 8-hr sleep but not now. Good food and good sleep will really keep you healthy and young.