Getting A Good Night’s Sleep

Forget counting sheep. Nowadays, it seems like Jay Leno, Häagen-Dazs, and telephones are the newest bedtime lullabies. Aadequate sleep is a basic human need, like air, water, and food and the average person will spend 1/3 of their life asleep.

According to the National Institute of Health, over 70 million people suffer from insomnia every year. Inadequate sleep can result in mood disturbances, irritability, trouble with concentration, lack of energy, and fatigue. Suffering from insomnia on a frequent basis can lead to bigger health problems down the road.

Establishing a consistent bedtime routine is the most difficult task for college students; however; what you do during the day also affects your sleeping pattern. The National Institute of Health recommends these tips for a ‘good night sleep’:

Avoid caffeine, alcohol & nicotine close to bed-time

Avoid spicy foods & tomato products before bed

Exercise daily

Only go to bed when you are tired

Eliminate televisions, telephones, radios when going to sleep

The quality of sleep is influenced by several factors which include you’re diet. By avoiding specific foods before you go to sleep, you can fall asleep faster and enjoy the quality of sleep longer. Spicy foods like onions and peppers should be avoided because they can cause indigestion and heartburn, which delays the onset of sleep. Also avoid sugary, fattening foods before bedtime because they increase you’re glucose levels, which make you feel more alert. Some foods contain tyramine, which causes the release of the brain stimulant norepinephrine, which results in increased energy and heartbeat. These foods include: bacon, cheese, avocado, soy sauce and Red Wine.

Foods that are helpful in getting a good night’s sleep contain the chemical tryptophan. These foods calm the body down and they include bananas, spinach, oats, cabbage, almonds and milk. Getting a good night’s rest is essential to a college student’s academic existence. By monitoring your food intake before bedtime and practicing a consistent bedtime routine, you’ll be on your way to a restful night of sleep before the click of your remote.