You diet, you exercise, and you still can't lose weight. Sound familiar? You may be having problems with a third piece of the weight loss puzzle: Sleep. Getting enough sleep helps you feel energized, making it easier to exercise. It also helps reduce cravings for foods such as candy bars and beverages such as frappuccinos.
Insomnia can cause a vicious cycle. You wake up feeling deprived of sleep, so you load up on doughnuts and sugar-spiked coffee to try to energize yourself. You then suffer a drop in energy a few hours later, so you repeat the cycle.
The result: You're amped up on sugar and caffeine before bed, so can't sleep. But the good news: Changing your diet can help you break that cycle.
Remember when your mom gave you warm milk when you couldn't sleep? Well, she was somewhat correct. But it's not any ingredient in the warm milk, as it turns out. It's more the psychological aspect of a comforting, familiar ritual.
From a physiological perspective, the best before-bed snack consists of carbohydrates with a small portion of protein. For example, you might eat Enjoy Life Gluten Free Vanilla Honey Graham Crunchy Handcrafted Cookies with Sleepytime Tea and Westsoy Soy Milk.
As for caffeine, you don't have to eliminate it. Just limit your caffeine intake to the morning. Then in the afternoon, switch to herbal coffee, such as Teeccino Vanilla Nut Mediterranean Herbal Coffee.
As for sugar? Keep it to a minimum as the day goes on as well. Also be careful of foods that can cause heartburn, which can keep you awake. Common culprits include spicy foods such as garlic and onion-flavored meals, citrus fruits such as oranges, tomatoes, peppermint and chocolate.
If you know that heartburn is a problem, be especially careful at dinner. Try plain baked chicken, for example, with a casserole made of Farmer's Market Organic Sweet Potato Puree.