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Wine, fast food, beer, a heavy meal: all things that make you crash right to sleep, right? New research shows that though these foods may help you fall asleep, they don't actually make your sleep any more restful.
Washington Post columnist Jennifer LaRue Huget recently wondered if there were some magic food to solve sleep problems but found that it was more plausible to define which foods actually hinder sleep.
As it turns out, if you want to get a good night's rest, don't consume a ton of fat or alcohol before hitting the hay, as these both have the ability to disrupt the REM cycle, which is when your body actually rests.
In a study at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology tracking diet and sleep habits of 459 women, researchers found that "women who ate the most fat slept for shorter times and took more naps, a sign that they didn't get enough restful sleep at night," reports The Washington Post.
Both red and white wine do contain melatonin from grapes, which is a natural sleep-inducing hormone, but the alcohol content cancels out the effect. So it's actually better to just eat the grapes (red ones with skins, to be exact).
Not surprisingly, high on the list of things not to drink before bed is caffeine, which can stay with you for 12 hours. As for the heavy hitters like turkey, herbal tea and warm milk? These have only been scientifically proven to make you relax, not necessarily get a full 8 hours. Experts say you'd have to eat at least one pound of meat (that's turkey, chicken, or beef) for the tryptophan to go into effect, and up to 15 to be fully sedated.