HOW DO YOU GET A GOOD NIGHT SLEEP AND WAKE UP REFRESHED? What and when we eat and drink has a significant influence on our sleep. Using a few tricks, you can improve your sleep.
WHEN TO EAT
Between eating the last meal of the day and going to bed, there should be at least 2 or 3
hours. If you leave too long between eating and going to bed, you could become hungry
and that is not helpful when trying to go to sleep.
A gap, which is too short, can lead to you feeling uncomfortably full in bed and is also
not conducive to sleep. The golden middle of 2 – 3 hours is the best solution.
A NAP AFTER LUNCH?
The afternoon nap, after a large lunch, is a well-established habit in many cultures.
Eating makes you tired because the body needs energy for digesting the food. If you
need your energy for digestion, it is missing if needed for activities. It can be hard at
times going back to work after lunch and many people think, that a small nap would be
just the thing. However, sleeping in the afternoon makes it more difficult to sleep at
night, if you are not used to it. Lying down after a large meal can also cause heartburn.
Many people believe, you should avoid sleeping in the afternoon, although scientific
opinions are divided and there is not yet a final evaluation on this.
WHEN AND WHAT TO EAT
The simplest rule of thumb says: The later you eat, the lighter you should eat. Food,
which is difficult to digest, disrupts your attempts to go to sleep. Try to avoid food,
which causes flatulence, such as wholegrain bread or pulses. Also, avoid French fries or
pork steaks. I recommend lean foods, such as turkey breast, low-fat milk and not too
much seasoning to make a light evening meal.
Milk contains sleep-inducing Tryptophan, as do fish or dates. Vitamin B6 can also have a
positive effect on sleep. This can be found in bananas and many types of salad leaves.
WHEN SHOULD I DRINK MY LAST CAFFEINE-CONTAINING BEVERAGE?
Those who have difficulty going off to sleep should stop drinking caffeine-containing
beverages, such as coffee or energy drinks by 4 pm at the latest.
Caffeine and guarana, which can be found in many energy drinks, are broken down very
slowly in the body. You should avoid drinking something like this at least 4 hours before
going to bed.
It is a similar situation with green and black tea. As everybody reacts differently and has
different tolerance levels, it pays to experiment to find out when it is the right time to
stop drinking caffeine-containing beverages, so that you can go off to sleep.
WHICH TEAS/HERBAL INFUSIONS INDUCE SLEEP?
Herbal infusions are particularly good to drink at night because they have relaxing and
sleep-inducing qualities. You do not have to drink the same sort of herbal infusion every
evening. You can vary it and this way you can also find out, which one is best for helping
The following infusions are recommended:
- Passion flower
- Lemon balm
- St. John’s wort
IS A BEDTIME SWEET ALLOWED?
From the sleep scientist’s and doctor’s points of view, something sweet at bedtime is
allowed and can even have a positive effect. A little milk chocolate, a cup of warm cocoa,
a few biscuits or a portion of sweet fruit influences the blood glucose level so that you
can sleep better. A small amount of something sweet is also soothing and you are not in
danger of dependency on it, nor does it disturb the quality of your sleep as alcohol
would do. Just do not forget to clean your teeth afterwards and only eat a little!
HOW DO YOU GET A GOOD NIGHT SLEEP AND WAKE UP REFRESHED:
RULES FOR A GOOD BREAKFAST
English-speakers use the term breakfast, meaning “breaking the fast”, the French call it
petit-déjeuner, which means “Little fast-breaking”. The German expression “Frühstück”
comes from the 15th century, according to the Duden, and means something like “the
piece of bread, which is eaten in the early morning”. That remains unchanged, the
typical German breakfast today includes bread or bread buns.
At the weekends, 87% of Germans wake up to bread or bread buns on the breakfast
table. With it, you will find butter, jam, cold meats, cheese and eggs. However, more and
more people are trying out variations from other countries. Some like the full English
breakfast of eggs, bacon and sausage, others prefer the French variation of croissants
and white coffee, or latte as it is now known.
For about 37% of Germans, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, during the
week, even more so than lunch or dinner.
The following three rules will help you to get started with a good breakfast:
RULE 1: WHOLEGRAIN
Wholegrain is full of dietary fibre. The German corporation for nutrition (DGE)
recommends an amount of 30g per day. 2 slices of wholegrain bread (100g) contain 8g
of fibre (compared to a kiwi at 75g). This way you can satisfy a third of your daily needs.
According to the DGE, dietary fibre not only keeps you from feeling hungry but also
helps to prevent high blood pressure and coronary heart disease, and probably also
reduces the risk of developing diabetes Type 2.
RULE 2: REDUCE SUGAR
Please be aware, that there is a lot of sugar hidden in many products where you would
not necessarily expect it. This simple sugar sends your blood glucose level skyrocketing
and then sinks as rapidly, and therefore is not conducive to maintaining an optimum
Sugary foodstuffs, such as crunchy flakes or Nut-Nougat cream contain unnecessary
“empty calories”, which are better avoided.
RULE 3: REDUCE UNHEALTHY FAT
In addition to sugar, there is often hidden unhealthy fat in food and drinks. For example,
in latte macchiato or caffè latte but also in cold meats, such as salami and other
processed foods. These saturated fats increase blood lipids, particularly the harmful
LDL-cholesterol. Goairfryer.com suggests that it’s healthier switching from deep-fried
foods to air fried ones.
There are healthy alternatives, which taste just as good and help you to make a healthy
start in to your day, to provide you with valuable vitamins and deliver optimum energy
to the body.
Yoghurt contains valuable proteins, calcium and magnesium and is ideal to eat for
breakfast. Fruit yoghurt, however, usually contains too much unnecessary sugar –
there can be up to four lumps of sugar in one cup.
Natural yoghurt is the low-sugar variant. If you do not want to do without the fruit taste,
you can add some fruit puree or shredded apple to it. If you are missing the sweetness,
you can add a little honey, maple syrup or date syrup.
By the way, have you ever tried coconut yoghurt? This is the vegan yoghurt alternative,
based on coconut milk. It is mild-tasting, sugar-free and suitable for people with lactose
or gluten intolerance.
A fruit spread would be a good alternative to nut-nougat cream, as it can help to save
some of the sugar and fat content in chocolate spread. If possible, you should make it
yourself or at least look at the sugar content when buying it. Bread spreads, such as
honey, date syrup or maple syrup are sweet and have many positive characteristics as
long as they are natural products. The sweetness is very similar to that of the chocolate
Bought crispy muesli mixes often contain a lot of sugar and fats. As an alternative, you
can mix your own muesli. These include, for example, oat flakes, chia seeds, sesame,
sunflower seeds or goji berries. Add a few spoonsful of natural yoghurt and a few fresh
fruits and you have created a balanced and quickly prepared breakfast.
If you allow chia seeds seep in water overnight, you can make them into a sort of
pudding. They are very healthy and low in calories. Also, You can also prepare raw oats for
your muesli: To do that, you can soak the oats overnight in milk or water to soften them.
Do you prefer a hearty breakfast? Salami contains a lot of fat, lean ham would be a less
fatty solution. Or perhaps you like fish. Moreover, A smoked salmon is also a healthy option because
it contains valuable Omega-3 fatty acids, which we tend to eat too little of in our diets.
Omega-3 fatty acids help to sink the LDL-Cholesterol in the blood, have a positive effect
on the brain function and are anti-inflammatory.