A Guide to Better Sleep

A Guide to Better Sleep - Food & Nutrition Magazine - Student Scoop
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If you have trouble getting enough sleep at night, here are four tips you can try to help you get adequate shuteye.A Guide to Better Sleep -

Cut off the caffeine

During a busy workday it can be tempting to order an afternoon espresso to fight off the 3 p.m. slump. Prevent the coffee jitters from wreaking havoc on your sleep by limiting caffeine consumption to only the morning time. Avoid coffee, tea, sodas and chocolate later in the day.

Ease up on the late-night snacking

It’s the end of a long day and you finally get to sprawl out on the couch and relax before bed. In this moment, nothing sounds better than a trip to the fridge to grab your favorite comfort food. However, eating right before bedtime may trigger uncomfortable bouts of indigestion or acid reflux that can impact your sleep.

Here are some tips to prevent late-night heartburn:

  • Eat dinner at least two to three hours before you lay down for the night.
  • Avoid heavy meals, alcohol, chocolate and spicy foods — common acid reflux triggers — before bedtime
  • Don’t lay down right after eating! Move your body in ways like taking a short walk after dinner. Physical movement promotes healthy digestion.

Staying mindful of nighttime eating does not mean you should ignore your growling stomach! Always listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry.

Try these bedtime-friendly snack ideas:

  • Whole grain crackers with a scoop of hummus
  • Handful of nuts
  • Greek yogurt with berries
  • Banana slices with a tablespoon of peanut butter
  • Turkey jerky
  • Slice of deli meat on whole wheat toast

Power down

In this age of technology, we are attached to our electronics more than ever. These devices emit blue light, which suppresses melatonin production in the body and keeps you awake.

Reduce the impact of blue light on sleep with these tips:

  • Turn off phones, laptops, and TV at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Turn your device on ‘night shift’ mode to reduce blue light emission.
  • Invest in blue light-filtering glasses.

Unwind your mind & body

Fall asleep faster by creating a relaxing nighttime environment. Engage in activities that calm your mind and body.

Here are some nighttime rituals you may want to try:

  • Light a candle.
  • Listen to soothing music or nature sounds.
  • Use essential oils.
  • Take a warm bubble bath.
  • Sip on decaf herbal tea.
  • Practice meditation.
Brooke Aaron
Brooke Aaron completed her bachelor's degree in biology at the University of Miami in 2019. She aspires to become a registered dietitian and is currently in the process of applying to graduate programs in nutrition. In her free time, she enjoys creating healthy recipes for friends and family. Her professional interests include public health, sports nutrition, and nutrition research.