The 5 best takeaway meals for a good night’s sleep
This is it, you tell yourself. This is the week I’m finally getting my sleep back on track. But what happens when you go for takeaways with friends? Or you decide to stop at your favourite sushi place on the way to an exciting night on the couch with Netflix? You may not realise it, but your dinner choices can have a massive impact on how easily you drift off to sleep later. Fried stuff, spicy food, and even red meat can actually make it likelier that you’ll toss and turn.
The good news is that, according to Lisa Young, “Food can absolutely help [your sleep], and it can absolutely hurt.” So making the right meal choices can be the difference between waking up refreshed and spending the night tossing and turning.
Check out these five examples of takeaway meals that won’t mess with your sleep.
In general, ordering sushi is probably going to be your best bet for uninhibited ZZZs because you’re able to get some carbs, fibre-full avocado, and lean protein. But stick with brown rice if you can because it’ll take a little longer for you to digest. And do your best to avoid spicy rolls and tempura because they can be too tough to digest.
Best meal: Salmon and avocado roll or California roll with brown rice.
As usual, opt for chicken or fish over steak or pork when you can because those lean meats are easier to digest. Also be sure to go for some carbs in the form of rice or tortillas. “A little bit of cheese can be okay, too,” says Young, because it contains tryptophan. But too much cheese can easily make a meal feel heavy, causing discomfort that’ll make it hard to get to sleep.
Best meal: Fish tacos with veggies.
Here, she suggests going with a classic pasta-plus-red-sauce dish of your choice because you’ll get those sleep-inducing carbs without a too-heavy sauce. Feel free to add some chicken for protein. And, if you can get wholewheat pasta, that’s even better.
Best meal: Wholewheat pasta with red sauce and cheese.
The key here is to “avoid the spiciest dishes,” she advises, and to stay away from heavier, buttery sauces. That means heading in the direction of tandoori chicken rather than tikka masala. Saag paneer, with its veggie/cheese combo and a side of rice, is another great option.
Best meal: Saag paneer or tandoori chicken with jasmine rice and veggies.
Young says fried rice isn’t her favourite for helping you get to sleep, she ranks it behind brown rice and jasmine, but it’ll get the job done. Throw in some chicken for lean protein and vegetables because they’re never a bad idea.
Best meal: Fried rice with chicken chop suey.