And at the end of the article, you'll find a table to help you choose the right foods for your dinner and more.
We continue the conversation about sleep and dreams, started in the last article. How to make sleep as complete as possible and avoid nightmares in adults and children? Surprisingly, a lot depends on what you ate for dinner. Let's figure it out.
Especially for Letidor, the article was prepared by our permanent expert Sergey Anatolyevich Gorin, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, author of eleven monographs on mind manipulation, advertising, hypnosis and NLP, creator of the Russian-language model of Ericksonian hypnosis. According to colleagues, Gorin is a living classic of Russian neurolinguistic programming.
How to avoid nightmares
First, establish a strong eating habit in your family: do not gorge yourself at bedtime and do not eat heavy foods at night.
Try to instill this habit in children. It is good for your health, and your sphere of parental responsibility includes the formation of children's good habits (harmful ones will be inoculated without you).
Think about it: you only have 10-20 years to give your child something useful (we don't know how old he is now). And then his husband or wife will deal with his habits, including food
Secondly, do not use sleeping pills. Usually doctors recommend not to abuse them, take no more than ten days in a row, but if you are prone to nightmares, it is better to exclude such drugs altogether.
A significant part of them suppresses the phase of REM sleep (especially barbiturates - phenobarbital and others), which just gives a person the opportunity to dream. But the body cannot do without this phase, then it will catch up:
for ten days of sleeping pills, you will pay at least five nights of luxurious nightmares.
It is also better not to drink alcohol before bedtime, despite the general misconception that a glass of brandy will supposedly allow you to sleep better. Ethyl alcohol can make it easier to fall asleep, but not the sleeping process itself.
The best time and food for dinner
When choosing a menu for dinner, take into account the digestion time - by the time you fall asleep, your stomach should be almost empty, so at least 45-60 minutes should pass between the last meal and falling asleep.
If you and your children go to bed at 23 o'clock, then you should get up from a late table at 22:15 maximum.
Meat, fish, poultry and mushrooms are digested the longest (four to five hours or more), especially in combination with potatoes.
Vegetables without the addition of animal protein to them are processed by the stomach quickly (one and a half to two hours), but vegetable salads with oil take much longer (three and a half to four hours).
Mushrooms, according to some sources, are generally the hardest product for the stomach - they are digested up to seventeen hours, so it is better to eat them for breakfast.
The optimal dish for dinner can be considered dairy products and eggs in any combination: omelets, casseroles, mousses, etc. (see the table at the end of the article).
Cheese is also good for dinner.
About false hunger
In fact, by the end of the day, the person is usually thirsty and not hungry.
Research confirms that there is no nutritional deficiency in the body by the time we fall asleep, but there is a lack of fluid, so what we tend to mistake in the evening for feeling hungry is usually false hunger.
This is thirst, which is confused with hunger not only by children, but also by adults!
In order not to provoke false hunger, neither children nor adults need to wait until the last moment before going to bed before eating very little.Better to introduce another sensible food ritual (as familiar and obligatory as washing your feet or brushing your teeth:
an hour before going to bed, drink a glass of juice, milk or kefir.
Taking milk and honey for sleep is a thousand-year tradition that has not lost its relevance. A modern amendment (especially if you are giving milk to children): look on the package for how much protein is in the milk.
It should be NOT less than three grams per hundred grams of milk.
If dinner is the main meal
You may ask, what to do for very busy adults and very excitable children who simply have no time to eat during the day? Go to bed hungry?
Of course not. This is an exception, so choose a piece of boiled or baked meat for dinner (beef or rabbit is preferred) without a side dish or, so be it, with a side dish of boiled vegetables.
But it is meat, not sausages and not sausages!
You will be surprised to read the composition of the products: a sausage with the proud name "beef" or "veal" may not contain beef at all, let alone veal.
Alas, the nutritional value of modern store-bought sausages is often quite low. If you carefully read their composition, you come to the conclusion that the main function of these products is not to saturate a person, but, on the contrary, to whet his appetite.
As for the rules and exceptions in baby food and conflicting recommendations on this matter, evaluate any deviations from the recommended diet according to the condition of the child. If he is comfortable, he sleeps well, the work of the gastrointestinal tract is not upset, then this is possible, then this is his individual norm.
A few words about intimate. Whichever dinner menu you choose, cut out refined carbs, cabbage (especially sauerkraut), dill and fennel, as well as healthy whole grain buns and bran bread. These foods cause gas to build up in the intestines, making you (and those around you) much less comfortable sleeping.
And more about intimate. If, after going to bed, the parents do not want to disconnect immediately, but still communicate with each other for some time, then for dinner it makes sense to serve long carbohydrates (rice, oatmeal, durum wheat pasta) with nutritionally valuable fish (chum salmon, salmon, sturgeon) or seafood (with veal or rabbit).
The first part of the list will give you energy for communication, the second - an incentive for it.
All these are aphrodisiacs, that is, food that stimulates sexual desire. However, the menu of romantic dinners is a separate big topic.
Fight against the "night dozor"
Everyone knows the situation: the child, already in bed, asks for food. Adults also sometimes behave like children: even when they wake up because of something at night, they go to the refrigerator to eat something. In common parlance, this phenomenon was jokingly called "night dozhor".
As mentioned above, you do not need to go to bed feeling hungry, the family ritual "snack an hour before bedtime" will help you with this. But if before bedtime thoughts about food are too intrusive, give yourself (or your child, if he asks) a relaxation: drink half a glass of juice or kefir at night, eat a crouton and a vegetable or fruit.
The listed products are completely digested in an hour, so the first hour of sleep will not be very comfortable, but then everything will work out - and sleep in general will be of high quality.
If the child really really wants something sweet for the night, give him a banana - it's still more useful than a candy or a piece of cake.
But remember, children's requests for food before bed are least due to hunger and even false hunger.
Firstly, children before going to bed often give out a surge of excitement: “excitement before inhibition”, described long ago by IP Pavlov.
Secondly, children routinely check how much they can control their parents, manipulate them. The basic children's principle of manipulation: "Dad forbade - ask mom, mom forbid - ask grandmother."
Your answer to this manipulation should be like this (also applies to adults):
"If you want to eat, eat an apple, if you do not want an apple, you do not want to eat."
However, not all parents are inclined to the Spartan upbringing of their offspring, some prefer to negotiate. In this case, the so-called tricks of hunger have been invented.
Hunger Trick 1
If a person is given something non-nutritious to chew before going to bed, the brain will not understand that it has been deceived and will consider itself full. What exactly to chew?
Previously, they recommended homemade marshmallows (the official culinary name is fig): dried fruit puree. In modern conditions, chewing gum is used.
Little secret: in order to successfully fight off hunger, the gum must be very menthol! Just VERY, as much menthol as possible, so that the chewer is "already bewitched."
And more importantly: make sure that the child or adult does not fall asleep with chewing gum in his mouth.
Hunger Trick 2
In extreme cases, remember the advice from those who are losing weight and hungry: a glass of hot water drunk at night causes a false feeling of satiety. The brain does not understand that it was deceived - after a glass of hot water, you will fall asleep more calmly.
Doctor, in the evening I want something strange
A few words about food cravings that can manifest themselves in evening meals. In a family, such features are usually considered a bad habit or innocent eccentricity, but not everything is innocent.
Loss of control over the amount eaten, "wolf hunger." After the first piece eaten, a person cannot stop until he eats everything that is not nailed. Such a person is like an alcoholic: he drank one glass - and will not rest until he has mastered the whole bottle.
They make fun of him, they scold him, but there is no need to joke or scold him - immediately send him to an endocrinologist!
He has impaired carbohydrate metabolism, it is easily treatable, the person will stop suffering from food addiction.
Quirks of taste called "spikes" (stress on the second syllable). The man is eating chalk! After eating, he needs, you see, a bite of chalk. Or lime from the wall. Or tobacco ash. They also make fun of such people (“are you pregnant?”) Or scold. And again, neither one nor the other need to be done, but it is necessary to send a person to donate blood, to check hemoglobin.
In about 75% of cases, eating chalk is an early symptom of iron deficiency anemia (less often - vitamin B12 deficiency, even less often - hepatitis).
The ideal sleep, according to the precepts of Avicenna, begins on the right side and continues on the left.
Don't sleep on your back. Avicenna believed that only sick and weakened people sleep on their backs (by the way, both of them, by the way, are advised to take a half-sitting position, with high pillows).
Judge for yourself: do pets sleep on their backs? And if they suddenly sleep, then they say about them: "Look, the cat sleeps like a man!" Meanwhile, in humans, the body is not fundamentally different, so sleep on your side.
Especially you shouldn't sleep on your back after drinking alcohol, if that's the case. In this position of the body, alcohol provokes several unpleasant things: snoring, belching and vomiting.
If you still overeat at night, sleep on your stomach!
We are by no means calling for drunkenness and gluttony, which can then be secured with a sleep position. It's just that life is so arranged, no, no, and you will sin. Before the New Year, all publications are full of recommendations not to overeat, as if the world is going to end tomorrow, and not to get drunk, as if dry law will be announced tomorrow. But we still overeat and drink.
Just remember that alcohol dehydrogenase (the enzyme that processes ethyl alcohol) is most effective at 18:00, so it is better to abstain from alcohol earlier and later.
Print and hang on the refrigerator
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