NDSU Extension Service - Benson County

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Eat Right for Better Sleep

A Taste

For Nutrition

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent

Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science

 

Eat Right for Better Sleep

Out of every 100 people, 33 note that they have trouble sleeping.  While there are many factors as to why they are not be getting the sleep needed, food and beverages can impact the quality of sleep.

 

For better sleep results, it is recommended to eat a diet that is high in fiber and protein and low in saturated fat.  Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are all great sources of fiber.  Protein can be found in meats, dairy, some vegetables, and whole grains.

 

Foods that are low in fiber, high in saturated fat, and high in sugar tend to lead to interrupted sleep, especially if they are eaten in the evening.  Some common foods that contain saturated fat include regular cheeses, ice cream, regular ground beef, fried meats, butter, or chocolate.

 

It is also helpful to avoid foods and beverages with caffeine close to bedtime.  Tea, coffee, pop, and chocolate are just a few foods to eat sparingly before bedtime. 

 

Regular exercise as well as avoiding nicotine and alcohol before bedtime can also aid with a more restful night’s sleep.  It is also helpful to our sleep to put electronics away.  Leaving them in another room can take away the temptation of using electronics before bed. 

 

With the help of healthy food and an adequate amount of exercise, you may notice yourself sleeping better.

 

Here is a recipe for strawberry kiwi yogurt pops.  Packed with fruit, these pops are the perfect bedtime snack.  Enjoy!

 

Strawberry Kiwi Yogurt Pops

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 kiwi (chopped)
  • 4 large strawberries (about a 1/2 cup, chopped)
  • 1 ice cube tray (or paper cups)

 

Directions:  Cut fruit into small pieces.  Mix fruit and yogurt.  Divide into 4 small paper cups (or 8 ice cubes) and place in popsicle sticks (or cut paper straws).  Freeze.  Enjoy as a frozen treat!

Makes: 4 servings.  Each serving contains 69 calories, 1 gram of fat, 41 mg of sodium, 13 carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, and 3 grams of protein. 

 

Sources:  

  • NDSU Extension, Nourish Your Body with Sleep, July 2017
  • USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
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