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For better sleep, choose better eats

Getting a good night's rest can depend on what you eat before bed. Nutrition expert Kirstin Kirkpatrick shares some foods to help you sleep better.

DENVER — Sleep is important. It keeps our immunity up, it keeps our weight down, and of course, it helps our brain recharge and get ready for the next day. 

There are a lot of things, however, that can disrupt our ability to fall asleep – and stay asleep. Diet can play a big role. Here’s what to choose, and what to lose.

Sleep enhancing superstars

Lean sources of poultry, melatonin rich almonds, calming chamomile tea and tart cherry juice may all play a role in enhancing sleep. Further, a 2017 University of Colorado animal study found that and prebiotic rich foods like garlic, leeks, asparagus, bananas and apples non-REM sleep cycles.

Here’s what you should avoid if you want good sleep

Though fiber rich foods are often associated with better health, having too much fiber too close to bed can disrupt your ability to fall asleep. That’s because the body focuses a lot of attention trying to figure out how to digest and metabolize fiber. That process can cause gastric distress which can impair sleep. 

In addition to fiber, a 2016 study also found that saturated fat rich foods, which are often harder to digest, could impair sleep as well. In addition to these, having too much caffeine, sugar and alcohol can wreak havoc on a good night’s sleep as well. Alcohol is particularly bad for sleep – it helps you fall asleep, but then wakes you in the later stages.

In addition to diet, finding the perfect temperature, avoiding light and screens will all help to get you to sleep quicker.

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