Last night my friends and I went to a Brazilian Steakhouse.
Have you ever been to one?
If you have, you know that they give you a card that's red on one side and green on the other. The card sits on your table. If you want more food, you can just leave the green side up and servers will keep coming to your table with a large variety of different meats, providing a constant flow of food.
Often what happens is you end up eating so much your stomach hurts. You may experience what is commonly referred to as the "Meat Sweats"--eating so much meat that your body's internal workout is so challenging that you begin to sweat profusely.
One of my friends made a comment that many people experience nightmares after eating red meat for dinner.
I decided to see if there was any truth to that.
So here are my "Do & Do Not's before Bed".
Do Not's before Bed:
1) Red Meat
While I couldn't really find any credible evidence to support the nightmare theory, red meat should generally be avoided before bed for a few reasons:
Red meat is very difficult to digest, so eating it before bed does not allow your body to get restful sleep due to the long digestion process and effort.
Also, because it is difficult to digest, there is a large hormonal response (insulin is produced) and this can make it challenging to sleep.
However, if your goal is to pack on some weight, a steak before bed on the occasion isn't a terrible idea.
2) Pasta's, Grains, Sugars, or Carbs of any kind
Carbohydrates before bed are definitely a no-no.
The first reason is the hormonal response that happens when we eat carbs (too much insulin is produced).
The second reason is carbs are like jet fuel. They give you a big spike in energy, which generally would not be conducive to sleeping.
While many people use this as a strategy for falling asleep, it is not advised.
Alcohol causes sleep disruption, usually paving the way for an unrestful night of sleep. This can be a dependency cycle if you're not careful. Sorry wine lovers. :/
While you would think this would be a no brainer, people often don't think about consuming stimulants throughout the day.
You may be used to having a "pre-workout" drink before your 5pm workout, or coffee at 2pm, or a 5 Hour Energy after lunch.
Stimulants have effects that are long lasting, so while you generally might not continue to feel stimulated late at night, these chemicals can still be affecting you're ability to fall asleep.
Do's before Bed:
With natural levels of melatonin, walnuts can help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
They are also a vasodialator, so they allow for better blood flow and a slower heart rate.
2) Clean Protein
Eating before bed is not always bad, but what you eat matters if you want to sleep well.
Clean, healthy proteins can help your body restore and heal over night. I like foods likes chicken or turkey. Turkey even has small levels of tryptophan and can help you sleep a little more soundly.
Many dark green veggies, like lettuce, are shown to reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure and help the body relax.
You may also consider Valerian or Chamomile teas.
I've found that sometimes food is not the solution. Sometimes it's as simple as our breath.
Quiet your mind, and focus on your breathing. Taking in the longest, deepest breaths you can causes your whole body to relax.
Put your mind to the task of focusing on your breaths and nothing else.
Sometimes the simplest tricks work the best.
If you still struggle with sleep or managing your diet to hit your goals, take a step towards your ideal health by taking 5 minutes to fill out this form: http://bit.ly/1gtYaTV
Yours in health, wellness and gratitude,
Think Great Lose Weight
FB - facebook.com/christopher.vanberg
"If you don't make time for your wellness, you WILL make time for your illness" -TGLW
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