While there are many factors that can affect the severity of one’s obstructive sleep apnea, the substances you put into your body are an important consideration.
Alcohol, caffeinated beverages, and tobacco products, in particular, are known to disrupt breathing patterns during sleep, particularly if taken shortly before bed. These substances can also make it harder to enjoy rejuvenating sleep regardless of whether someone suffers from obstructive sleep apnea. For example, caffeine makes it harder to fall asleep, while alcohol can lead to disrupted sleep.
Eating too close to bedtime can also disrupt your sleep, as your body diverts its energy to the digestive process. Because of this, it is generally recommended that you only have a small snack before bedtime, if you must eat right before bed.
With all that being said, however, there are foods and drinks that can actually promote a good night’s rest. These healthy snacks can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep so you have the energy you need in the morning.
Kiwi may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to improving sleep, but studies have found that eating kiwi an hour before bedtime can significantly improve sleep quality. In addition to making it much easier for individuals to fall asleep quickly, researchers learned that eating kiwis also slightly improves total sleep time and the ability to sleep through the night.
Among the reasons why kiwis are believed to aid with sleep are their high concentration of serotonin (which helps regulate the body’s sleep cycle), their anti-inflammatory antioxidant content, and the high quantity of fiber and carotenoids. Kiwis are also able to lower cholesterol levels and improve overall digestive health.
2. Chamomile Tea
While many people enjoy a soothing cup of tea before bed, not all teas are created equal. Chamomile tea is a widely used sleep remedy thanks to its apigenin content — an antioxidant that helps you feel sleepy and reduce insomnia. Chamomile tea drinkers are generally able to fall asleep faster and are less likely to wake up during the night.
Chamomile tea has also been linked with reducing symptoms of depression. Since depression and anxiety can interfere with healthy sleep, taking steps to improve your mental and emotional well-being are also worthwhile.
Almonds and other nuts like walnuts are a great bedtime snack because they contain several nutrients that promote healthy sleep. Almonds are a good source of melatonin, which helps signal to the body’s internal clock that it is time to get ready for sleep. Almonds are also high in magnesium, which can improve sleep quality for individuals struggling with insomnia.
Part of the reason why almond’s magnesium content is beneficial for sleep is because it can reduce inflammation and the body’s levels of cortisol — a stress hormone that can make it harder to stay asleep.
4. Tart Cherries
Tart cherries and tart cherry juice are distinct from regular cherries, but their ability to help improve sleep makes them well worth seeking out. Tart cherries have very high concentrations of melatonin, as well as several helpful antioxidants and nutrients like magnesium and potassium.
In one study, adults who were struggling with insomnia drank two glasses of tart cherry juice a day over a two-week period. Drinking the juice helped them sleep an average of 84 minutes longer than the control group, while also improving their overall sleep quality.
Drinking a glass of warm milk before going to bed isn’t just a superstition. Milk and other dairy products contain melatonin and tryptophan, key hormones that can help improve sleep quality.
Studies have also found that malted milk — or milk that has been fortified with a formulated power made up of malted wheat and barley — can help reduce sleep interruptions.
6. Bonus: Sleep-Friendly Dinner Options
If you’re not big on the idea of a before-bed snack, eating certain foods for dinner can aid in improving your sleep quality. White rice can help improve sleep quality and sleep duration thanks to its high glycemic index. Fatty fish such as tuna and salmon have also been found to improve your deep sleep and your ability to fall asleep quickly thanks to their high vitamin D content.
Turkey is another sleep-friendly meal thanks to its high levels of protein and tryptophan, which combine to increase tiredness and improve overall sleep quality. For best results, you should eat your dinner meal at least an hour before bed so that your body has time to digest and absorb the sleep-promoting nutrients from these meals.
Get the Rest You Need With Help Medical Supplies
While these healthy food options can make it easier for most people to fall asleep and stay asleep, individuals with obstructive sleep apnea may still have a hard time getting a full night’s rest. Temporary blockages of the airways can result in frequent nighttime awakenings that keep the body from enjoying the full restorative effects of sleep.
If you are currently struggling with the side effects of obstructive sleep apnea, getting a CPAP machine may help. If you have a valid prescription, Help Medical Supplies is your go-to stop to purchase CPAP equipment at an affordable price. In addition to discounted pricing on equipment from leading brands, we offer free shipping on orders of $89 or more, and available financing on orders of $500 or more.
With the right medical equipment and the right diet, you can enjoy the higher-quality sleep you deserve.