Health Works: Secrets of getting good sleep - does food and drink matter?

Let's talk about sleep. 

May is Sleep Awareness Month and the experts say you need to get seven  hours a night. 

So where does food and wine fit in? Does it help or hurt?

Sleep expert Dr, Robert Oexman from the Sleep To Live Institute stopped by FOX 2 to fill us in.

"We cheat on sleep every night," he said. "We do know that if we're not getting the sleep we need, most of us see that we're a little sleepy and tired. Maybe we need a nap and we think that's the only consequence.

"It's actually worse than that. We know that people who don't sleep well have a higher risk of cancer, higher risk of heart disease. Increased risk of blood pressure. Increased risk of Type-2 diabetes."

Some people think what they drink at night does not affect me when I go to sleep.

"Wine and alcohol impact our sleep a great deal," he said. "One glass at dinner and then you wait three or four hours, that's not going to impact your sleep.

"If  you are doing three or four glasses of wine right up until going to sleep it will."

Oexman said it may help you fall asleep quicker, but it disrupts sleep later in the night.

"Even if we don't remember it, it has a fragmenting affect on our sleep. When you wake up you have a groggy, hangover feel and that may mean you are not getting enough sleep at night,"

Food can have an affect as well, he said - especially those with acid reflux with spicy foods.

"We don't want to go to bed and have some fatty foods right before sleep. Maybe half a bagel is actually pretty good it helps produce melatonin for your brain."

Oexman added that cherry juice is also good for sleep.

Fitness trackers are an indicator of sleep, but when it "measures quality sleep" it may not be as accurate. Don't use it to determine if you have a sleep disorder, Oexman said.

Oexman will be with other sleep experts Sunday at Art Van in Shelby Township, 

Art Van Furniture's free 'Ladies Night Out' Slumber Party on Sunday, May 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. at its Shelby Township store (14055 Hall Road). 

The free, information-packed event will kick off National Better Sleep Month, and will feature everything women and men need to know about getting a great night's sleep under one roof.
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