Some Foods Can Help Promote Sleep

November 5, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings(5 minutes)
Let your student read the items below. Confirm that he/she understood each word. Use additional info/definition/question only when necessary.

1. shuteye (n.) 
[shuht-ahy] – informal word for sleep
Example: Doctors advise six to eight hours of shuteye to keep the body working properly. 

2. induce (v.) [in-doos, -dyoos– to cause something to happen
ExampleInducing children to sleep early is a challenging task for parents.

3. nutritionist (n.) [noo-trish-uh-nist, nyoo-] – an expert who advises people about the health effects of food
Example: The nutritionist made a meal plan to help the athlete have more energy during training.

4. digestion (n.) [dih-jes-chuhn, dahy-– the process wherein the body breaks down food to a form that can be used by the body
Example: Experts say eating vegetables aids proper digestion.

5. soothing (adj.) [soo-thing] – relaxing or comforting
Example Drinking a cup of tea in the morning can be very soothing.

Article(10 minutes)
Let the student read the article aloud. For the Comprehension Questions, you may:
     (a) Ask the questions in between. Tell the student ahead of time when to pause from reading.
     (b) Ask the questions after he or she finishes reading everything. 
For words difficult to pronounce, pronunciation guides are provided beside the word.

Having much sleep is said to prolong life and re-energize the body. Yet a lot of people do not get enough shuteye, and health experts say the reason is due to the types of food people eat before sleeping.  

People believe that besides taking sleeping pills, eating particular foods can help induce sleep. But author of “The Real You Diet” and certified nutritionist Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom reveals that good shuteye depends more on what a person avoids eating before bedtime.

She advises people not to eat fatty or spicy food and not to eat too much right before sleeping, as digestion in the stomach causes uncomfortable sleep. Sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated foods should also not be consumed before sleep.

For the best sleep, she suggests that people have no caffeine after 3 p.m. and eat their last full meal three hours before going to bed.

However, she notes that some people can still have bedtime snacks to help them relax. Fernstrom recommends certain foods such as non-caffeinated tea, a sugar-free hot chocolate drink, dry cereal, a whole wheat bread slice, graham crackers or warm milk.

Fernstrom says these foods are good because they are low in fat and sugar and are not more than 200 calories. They are best taken more than half an hour before getting some shuteye.

According to her, these snacks help induce sleep not because they affect the biological processes of the body, but because these foods have soothing effects to one’s mind.

Viewpoint Discussion(7-8 minutes)
Lead the discussion using the questions below.

Discussion A

·         Do you agree that eating or drinking certain foods can help you get a good sleep? Why or why not?
·         Aside from eating soothing food, what other things can people do to feel more relaxed before going to bed?

Discussion B

·         What are the benefits of getting a good sleep?
·         Besides food, what do you think are other reasons for many people’s lack of sleep?


November 5, 2012