Get a good night's sleep by changing the way you eat.

Get Better Sleep by Changing What You Eat

Sleep problems come in two types – quantity and quality. If you’re consistently getting seven to nine hours of sleep, but not sleeping well, the culprit could be what you eat. Here are five dietary fixes that could help you sleep both longer and better.

1. Cut Back on Caffeine. Drinking too much coffee or tea is a sure route to insomnia, experts stay. If you can’t give up your morning Joe, keep it to one or two cups and switch to decaf by noon.

2. Go Easy on the Alcohol. That cocktail or glass of wine may make you feel sleepy, but it’s a short-lived benefit. Even a small amount of caffeine, studies show, alcohol affects both quality and quantity of sleep, disrupting your natural sleep-wake cycle.

3. Banish Hard-to-Digest Foods. Avoid heavy meals and spicy, acidic foods, which can cause heartburn or indigestion.

4. Sleep Better without Sweets. Recent research has linked a diet high in sugar with poor sleep, so cut back on sweets to keep your energy levels steady.

5. Snack Light at Bedtime. Eating right before you go to sleep is generally not a good idea. But if you can’t skip that bedtime snack, choose something light with complex carbs and a little protein. Good choices include a small bowl of whole-grain cereal with milk or a slice of whole-wheat bread with a spoon of peanut butter.

For more sleep tips, check out these helpful sleep resources from Kaiser Permanente. Hopefully, you’ll find you sleep sweeter with a few easy adjustments.

Melanie Haiken writes about health, wellness and fitness for national magazines and websites. She specializes in discovering and reporting the latest research on diet, nutrition, fitness, weight loss and other health-related topics. Her award-winning stories have appeared in Fitness, Shape, Health, Forbes, and other respected magazines. She also contributes health stories to numerous Kaiser Permanente newsletters and other publications.