BistroMD Health Library

Get excited about reading again with fun and interesting tips from our experts, including The M.D., our dietitians, and our fitness expert. In our health library, you will find all of the information you need to achieve your goals of making a healthy lifestyle change. So, start reading and start losing!

Health Tips

From tips on how to lose weight effectively to ways to combat boredom eating, this collection of informative articles covers a wide range of health topics that matter to real people, like you.

How to Eat for Better Sleep


In order to have better sleep, it’s important to know that it takes more than skipping out on a few unhealthy meals here and there.

If you think that all you have to do is cut back on a few drinks, or pass on the French fries for the day, wake up and follow these essential guidelines on how to eat for better sleep.

If Your Meals Are Skimpy, Don’t Expect to be Sleepy…

If you are on a diet, it’s important that you don’t skip meals in order to lose weight; it’s unhealthy and it won’t get you better sleep at night.

When you skip meals, you actually throw off your body’s normal sleep pattern. Medical studies have been conducted on various religions that show this fact.

The subjects in this study came from religions that participated in fasting periods. It was concluded that most of these subjects actually lost an average of 40 minutes of quality sleep per night.

The likely cause? The changes in hormone levels due to fasting.

This is where “not” skipping out on meals becomes crucial.

If you have a late meal, don’t expect to have better sleep. A big meal before bedtime will increase the blood flow level to your digestive tract, and will make your intestinal muscles and pancreas work overtime.

Just remember: Eat Often, and NOT Late at Night…

In order to eat for better sleep, it’s important to start first thing in the morning.

“When you sleep, your body actually uses energy, and it needs to be restored,” says Tessa Prior-Pullins, lead dietitian for BistroMD.

“This is why it is so essential to eat a healthy mix of protein and carbs for breakfast,” says Tessa. “This nutrition, spread throughout the day, will help maintain the right balance of hormones and neurotransmitters, which is essential for getting better sleep.”

Party Animals Need to Hibernate Too…

The next time you are at a party, just say no to the meat party trays, the massive cheese platters, and all high-fat finger foods. They won’t help you get better sleep.

Most of these foods actually cause indigestion, which can keep you up long past your bedtime.

Carbs for Dinner Are Okay

Why are carbs such a good thing for dinner? Well, they can actually cause your body to promote better sleep.

Certain carbohydrates can increase your body’s production of tryptophan, which is an amino acid that makes you sleepy. These carbs include certain varieties of rice and grains.

Don’t Eat on the Extreme…

If you eat below 1,200 calories per day, you probably won’t be getting the best sleep you can.

Extreme diets that promote less than 1,200 calories, usually deplete your body of essential nutrients, like iron.

Iron deficiency is one of the main causes of restless legs syndrome, which will keep you from getting better sleep. Extreme diets also limit the time your body needs at night for necessary muscle repair and rehabilitation.

Balance is Essential for Better Sleep

In order to have better sleep, it’s important that you have a well-balanced diet that gives your body essential nutrients.

“Diets with meals that provide your body with vitamins and calcium will help you rest better,” says Tessa. “These are natural relaxants for your body, and they will keep your body healthy.”

By following these tips, you will be counting sheep before you know it.

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