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Food and Sleep Advice

Written by Paul Wolf

There's nothing like a good night's sleep. Here's how to make sure you get one and many more.

You wouldn't dare drink a double espresso before bed, but you may unknowingly spike your blood sugar and disrupt your sleep by eating certain foods.

A slice of apple pie or cup of hot chocolate, for example, can play havoc with your chances for perfect slumber.

The reason is simple: Sugar-laden food sends your blood sugar soaring, which prompts insulin to step in and bring it down again. If the initial sugar rush doesn't keep you up, the subsequent crash may cause you to wake up either hungry or restless, if you are susceptible to interrupted sleep.

Some drugs also have the same effect, according to Katherine Albert, author of Get A Good Night's Sleep.

"If your diet is high in sweets, processed white flour, alcohol, caffeine and/or nicotine, you may be creating conditions in your body that mimic hypoglycemia," she writes.

The solution is to go easy on highly processed carbohydrates, such as flours and sugars; limit the size of your nighttime meals; and consume a little protein with your nocturnal snacks.

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