Tips for Sleeping Better and Improving Your Heart Health

by Shamsul
Keep Heart Healthy
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Sleep Better and Improve Heart Health

The foods and drinks you consume have a role to play for Heart Health.

People Interested in Heart Health:

A calm environment, a comfortable pillow and a cozy blanket can all contribute to the quality of our sleep, but another factor is often overlooked: diet. What we eat and drink can play a main role in the quality and period of our sleep.

Insufficient sleep, besides being crucial for both physical and mental well-being, may elevate the risk of heart disease and hypertension, as highlighted by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Luckily, the healthy eating habits that promote good heart health are the same ones that are recommended to improve sleep quality. Here’s what you need to know about the connection between diet, sleep and heart health.

Eating well and getting enough sleep are part of a lifestyle that promotes heart health.

Inadequate sleep can heighten the likelihood of developing high BP, heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.

Strive to achieve seven to nine hours of restful sleep each night.

There is no single food that improves sleep quality. However, research tends to show that a varied and nutrient-rich diet, such as the Mediterranean or DASH diets, can improve sleep quality. Best of all, these diets are ones that are recommended for good heart health!

Low-quality diets (high in sugar, salt, and saturated fat; low in fiber, vitamins, and minerals) are associated with highest risk of heart disease and poor sleep.

Diets rich in vegetables, fruits, fiber, and healthy unsaturated fats, such as a plant-based or Mediterranean diet, are associated with better sleep quality and heart health.

Foods That Promote Sleep:

Why do Mediterranean-style diets have a beneficial effect on sleep? According to scientists, this may be due to the levels of melatonin (a hormone) and serotonin (a neurotransmitter that harbors signals between nerve cells in the body) in certain foods, which promote quality sleep. Here are some foods rich in melatonin:


whole grains

beans and lentils



vegetables and fruits

Meal times are important

Eating a large, heavy meal shortly before going to bed can cause indigestion and discomfort, making it harder to fall asleep. Try to eat your last large meal at least two to three hours before bedtime for better sleep. Choose something light and easy to digest if you need a snack, like yogurt or a small fruit.

Consuming too much fluids before bed can cause you to urinate frequently during the night and thus interfere with your sleep. Limit your fluid take in the evening to benefit from more restful sleep.

Tea and coffee include caffeine, a stimulant that increases alertness. These drinks, perfect for giving you a little boost in the morning, can cause insomnia if you consume them later in the day. Ideally, one should not drink caffeinated coffee within eight hours of bedtime. In addition to affecting attention and mood, insomnia is associated with high blood pressure and heart disease.

Studies show that drinking caffeinated beverages reduces total sleep time by 45 minutes and disrupts deep sleep. Health Canada recommends that adults limit their daily caffeine intake to 400 mg.

Caffeine content of different drinks:

brewed coffee (1 cup) 135 mg

instant coffee (1 cup) 75-100 mg

black or green tea (1 cup) 30-50 mg

cola (355 ml can) 35-45 mg

energy drink (250 ml can) 80 mg

Alcohol may initially make you feel sleepy. In fact, it disrupts sleep cycles, shortens their duration and leads to less restorative sleep. As noted in the Canadian Benchmarks on Alcohol and Health, don’t drink alcohol for better sleep. Here are the health risks associated with alcohol consumption, as mentioned in the full version of the Guidelines:

2 drinks or less per week: Generally, helps to avoid the consequences of alcohol.

3 to 6 glasses per week: Increases the risk of developing cancer.

7 or more drinks per week: Increases risk of heart disease and stroke.

One consumption is equivalent to:

340 ml of beer, cider or cooler type drink;

142 ml of wine;

43 ml of spirits (a shooter).

Eating a nutrient-rich diet and limiting alcohol and caffeinated drinks allows you to enjoy more restful sleep while protecting your heart.

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