HealthBauer XcelChristmas

What to eat for a better night's sleep this Christmas

HealthBauer XcelChristmas
What to eat for a better night's sleep this Christmas

The Christmas indulgence is about to begin. And whilst we can't wait to tuck into the turkey, trimmings and too many treats, all this feasting can play havoc with our sleeping patterns, leaving us with a touch of Christmas crankiness, not to mention being vulnerable to bugs.

But making just a few tweaks to your festive diet can make all the difference between a disrupted and a sound night's sleep.

Nutritionist Catherine Keighley shares her top foods to try and steer clear of this Christmas to help you sleep more peacefully.

Eat almonds

These super-nuts contain magnesium, which helps bring on sleep and encourages your muscles to relax. They also contain protein which is good for keeping your blood pressure steady. 

Try a tablespoon of almond butter with an oat cake or wholegrain cracker for a great bedtime snack.

Have a banana

A banana before bed is great for promoting lots of zzzzzs as they're full of magnesium and potassium. They also contain an important amino acid called tryptophan which is good for balancing out your body clock. Turkey and other poultry are also full of this which might be why lots of us end up having a post-turkey snooze on Christmas Day.

Up your calcium

There’s a reason a glass of hot milk is a traditional bedtime drink as calcium is great for sending you off to the land of nod. Dairy products, as well as green leafy vegetables, are full of calcium and researchers think people lacking these types of food in their diet may find it harder to fall asleep. So yet another reason for us to eat our greens as our mothers told us to do!

Watch what you drink

Although you may find a tipple or two helps you drop off, having too much can actually reduce the quality of your sleep.  Alcohol over-stimulates your body's nervous system and can wreak havoc with your blood sugar levels which can make you wake up in the middle of night, feeling overheated and parched.

Spicy foods are also culprits for a restless nights' sleep, sometimes giving you heartburn, reflux and indigestion so steer clear of the curries or chilli too soon before bed.

Catherine Keighley teamed up with The Fine Bedding Company to deliver these tips.

There's more health advice in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.