Sleep Raiders
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Sleep Raiders

How to change your eating habits so you can get more sleep.

Food-Sleep Connection

Have you spent one too many nights tossing and turning? Do you frequently wake up feeling tired after eight hours of sleep? One of these dietary saboteurs may be to blame.

Culprit: Eating too few carbohydrates Reason: Carbo-rich foods help send the amino acid tryptophan to the brain, which may induce sleep.

Culprit: A diet low in minerals Reason: Calcium, magnesium and iron all have a sedative effect; deficiencies may keep you awake.

Culprit: Eating high-protein snacks right before bedtime Reason: Proteins inhibit tryptophan's journey to the brain, making you more alert.

Culprit: Overeating -- or undereating Reason: Hunger will make you restless; a big meal may cause sleep-inhibiting indigestion.

Culprit: Drinking alcohol Reason: Alcohol can cause frequent awakenings and block the restful sleep experienced during the REM cycle.