Spotlight on the evening meal. Lots of things are said about him. Already, what foods are recommended to facilitate sleep?
In the evening, it is recommended to eat slow carbohydrates, such as pasta, whole grains and pulses. They bring a feeling of calm, conducive to falling asleep. They also help prevent blood sugar fluctuations during the night, responsible for broken sleep.
Other foods are preferred. Starting with the vegetables. They are light and they provide fibers that promote satiety. Cooked, they are more digestible than raw. As for dairy products, they have the advantage of containing tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes the production of serotonin and melatonin, the sleep hormone.
What foods are recommended?
You can therefore eat a vegetable soup, a starch base – pasta, polenta, rice… – to which you add a small amount of protein – fish, egg, ham or soya – and vegetables.
If it is recommended to have a light dinner, having only a soup is not necessarily a good idea. Otherwise, it must be sufficiently nutritious, otherwise we are exposed to nocturnal cravings. We add, for example, lentils or split peas.
And we end with a dairy, and possibly a fruit because the sugar is slightly sedative.
Conversely, certain foods should be avoided. Foods that are too fatty. They are difficult to digest and can disrupt sleep. Excess animal protein, meat, eggs, fish. They have rather awakening properties. It is not a question of necessarily eliminating them completely, but of moderating them. We also pay attention to his alcohol consumption which, if it facilitates falling asleep, makes sleep unstable.
What is the ideal time for dinner?
It is recommended to have dinner at least 2 hours before going to bed because digestion causes a rise in body temperature which is detrimental to sleep. And if you suffer from acid reflux, it is best to wait 3 hours before going to bed.
So, if you want to go to sleep around 10 or 11 p.m., and have enough time to digest, that means that the ideal time for dinner is between 7 and 8 p.m. A recent Italian study showed that the best time was 7:13 p.m.! According to researchers, this is the ideal schedule if you want to live longer.
Researchers have tried to unlock the secrets of longevity of inhabitants of Aquila, a province of Abruzzo, located east of Rome. They observed that the nonagenarians and centenarians they studied dined early, on average at 7:13 p.m.!
An early dinner allows for a longer food break
Their dinner is mainly vegetable soup, polenta, vegetables, cheese. With leftovers from the night before or just bread and milk, they have a very light breakfast around 6:20 a.m. Having lunch around 12.40 p.m., they therefore respect a long period of caloric restriction, 5.5 p.m., between dinner and lunch.
An early dinner allows for a longer food break. And according to the researchers, having a large time slot with a low caloric intake could be beneficial by affecting insulin secretion and the way fat is metabolized. In sum, it could contribute to longevity.