Insomnia is a common sleep condition that makes it difficult to fall asleep, even when you feel tired. The likelihood of developing insomnia is heightened amongst young adults due to increases in stress and poor diet decisions.
Feeling stressed can cause unhealthy food and diet choices, which ends up increasing stress on the body. An influx of stress can cause food cravings, especially during the night whilst in bed. These cravings make it even more difficult to fall back asleep again without eating some food first.
Poor dietary regulation can cause a drop in blood sugar levels, as well as low production of melatonin. Both of these things also make it very difficult to maintain a regular and stable sleeping pattern, and may also stunt weight loss (increasing body weight).
Additionally, at night you may experience anxiety due to lack of sleep. This anxiety can build up until it becomes overwhelming at night time whilst in bed. This can result in people using sleeping pills to relieve their tiredness.
In this blog post, we explain how eating oatmeal before bed can level out your anxiety levels, regulate your blood sugar levels, and encourage the production rate of melatonin, to achieve a good night's sleep. By eating oatmeal as your new bedtime snack, you can wean off sleeping pills for naturally improved sleep quality.
Oatmeal Before Bedtime
Eating oatmeal before bed can aid sleep quality due to its range of healthy vitamins, like magnesium, and its slow digesting protein content. Oatmeal is made out of oats, and as oats are one of the healthiest grains on this planet, they offer many benefits for improving the physical functioning and look of your body, as well as your mental health. Eating oatmeal can prevent heart disease, help you to lose weight, and regulate blood sugar levels.
Oatmeal (quick oatmeal). is a great small meal or snack to eat before bed to encourage a better night's sleep, helping you fall asleep faster:
Prevents Hunger Pangs
Feeling stressed, tired, or the lack of sleep can cause the body to think it needs sugar, fat or more calories. For those trying to achieve a healthy weight, a recent study has also found that feeling tired can make eating seem more appealing, even when you are not overly hungry.
This causes many of us to overindulge in sugar (peanut butter, a snack, etc.), making us feel too sick to comfortably sleep at night and preventing weight loss due to excess calories.
Not being able to sleep can also cause people to really focus on what their body is feeling, especially as they grow frustrated or anxious that they cannot fall asleep. As this increases stress levels, your body may start to signal that it is hungry, causing you to get out of bed at night.
To help combat these issues, try eating oatmeal before bed, or sleep (quick oats are a great option),! Oatmeal has a high soluble fiber and carb content, which means your body is able to slowly digest it.
Slow digestion enables you to feel more full for longer, preventing hunger pangs or cravings for sugary foods (peanut butter, a snack, etc.). The carbs can also lower your blood sugar levels to regulate your energy and reduce sleep disorders.
Decreases Stress Levels
Did you know that eating a warm bowl of oatmeal can actually boost your levels of serotonin? As oats are a rich source of essential nutrients, they are one of the best foods to eat to improve your immune system.
This extra support allows your body to relax, decreasing adrenaline and cortisol in your body, which cause stress.
Consequently, eating a comforting bowl of oatmeal or quick oats, in a safe and calm environment will not only aid your overall health but will also help to relax and destress you.
Excellent Source of Melatonin and Vitamin D
Oatmeal is also a good source of vitamin D and melatonin, both of which are directly responsible for ensuring a night of better sleep. Melatonin is a hormone that helps to regulate your body's internal clock and lets your brain know when it is time to wind down (sleep).
The production of melatonin can be triggered by an array of things, from being in a dark room to eating certain foods (tart cherry juice). Oats can help to trigger your body's production of melatonin, making you feel more tired and ready for bed.
Vitamin D is also fundamental for reducing sleep disorders and problems and improving sleep quality. Oatmeal contains a significant amount of vitamin D, making it one of the best foods for improving how long you are actually staying asleep!
Regulates Glucose and Cholesterol
Oatmeal contains a wealth of complex carbohydrates, making it great for regulating glucose sugar levels. The complex carbohydrates in oats contain a good source of fiber (also eating whole grain, wheat bread, and plain yogurt), which makes oatmeal have a lower glycemic index.
Due to this, oatmeal can also decrease cholesterol in the body, improving heart health, weight loss, and preventing heart disease. High cholesterol levels can cause sleeping problems and sleep disorders in older adults due to increased stress, and chronic illnesses in the body.
Having regulated sugar levels decreases stress in the body, and can help to increase the production of melatonin for better sleep at night. Make sure you are eating oatmeal that does not contain added sugar, like quick oats.
Rich in B Vitamins, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium
Eating oatmeal is as nutritious as it is delicious! When you eat oatmeal, you not only improve your digestive health, but you also increase your body's daily dose of essential vitamins.
Oatmeal contains B vitamins and iron, which can regulate energy levels. Whole grain oatmeal also contains magnesium, calcium, and potassium which are needed for a night of deep, restful sleep.
When you eat oatmeal before bed at night as part of your regular diet, you will improve your overall health, repair and build muscle, prevent heart disease, and aid weight loss results.
Contains Prolamine (Avenin and Trigonelline) That Reduces Anxiety
Prolamine has a high amino acid content which can lead to better sleep and improved sleep quality. For oats, avenin and trigonelline are the main prolamines present, which contain high-quality protein. This slow-digesting protein makes oats a great food to eat before bed as they increase your serotonin levels, reducing anxiety.
The complex carbohydrates and prolamine levels in oatmeal produce tryptophan - an amino acid that boosts serotonin levels in your body. Eating oatmeal before bed will decrease anxiety and stress, improve your sleep quality by keeping you relaxed in bed, and ensure better sleep at night.
Eating oatmeal before bed at night will help regulate blood sugar levels due to its slow digesting protein, enabling you to enjoy a balanced, fulfilling diet. This, alongside oatmeal's high magnesium, healthy fats, and fiber content, will help prepare your body for sleep, especially when you save it to eat before bed.
For more oatmeals that can improve sleep quality at night, check out Proper Good oatmeals! Delicious clean ingredient oatmeals that are ready in 60 seconds. Try Proper Good Perfectly Plain Oatmeal for a zero-sugar option before bed, and add your own tasty toppings. Or, make your oatmeal even easier with tasty stir-in options, including Apple, Cinnamon & Walnut, and Blueberry & Coconut! Explore all the options HERE!