There’s nothing worse than spending your nights tossing and turning in bed. Sleepless nights can affect your productivity, energy, mood, and the overall quality of life. Many factors can prevent a good night’s sleep like poor air quality, odors, molds, and even food. Yes, food! Sleep and food have a rather curious connection. Certain foods and beverages can drastically affect your sleep patterns. While some foods can promote sleep, others can cause insomnia.
There may be many reasons why you are unable to sleep, but your diet plays a major role in keeping you up through the night. If you suffer from insomnia, you should immediately consider making dietary changes that can help your body shut down at night. Because, unconsciously, your poor dietary choices are affecting the quality of your sleep. Here are a few foods that can impact your sleep routines and trigger insomnia.
You should never consume alcohol less than three hours before sleeping, especially if you suffer from insomnia. It is a central nervous system stimulant as well as a depressant. Even though a drink or two may make you drowsy and put you to sleep, you will not feel fully rested and constantly wake up through the night. The hangover effect of alcohol makes it worse as despite sleeping, you feel dull and tired. Most alcoholics suffer from insomnia. Regular consumption of alcohol can disrupt other functions apart from sleep.
- Spicy Food
It is a known fact that spicy food can cause indigestion. And having an upset stomach makes it impossible to get a good night’s sleep. Even if you don’t face any stomach issues after ingesting spicy food, it can still be one of the reasons you are staying up late at night. This is due to capsaicin, the active ingredient present in spicy food that affects sleep. Spicy food can also give you a heartburn or nightmares and may be the reason you are tossing and turning at night.
- Caffeinated Drinks
An afternoon cup of coffee or tea might help you stay active for a while, but it affects your night’s sleep if the caffeine is not metabolized efficiently. For some people, caffeine displays its effects much longer after its consumption. Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant that can keep the central nervous system awake by simply stimulating the neurotransmitters of excitement. Even though everyone has a different level of sensitivity towards caffeine, it surely causes lack of sleep. It takes about eight hours for caffeine to completely leave your system. So, you need to plan when to have your afternoon cup of tea or coffee if you want to sleep early.
- Chocolates Or Sweets
Another food with high levels of caffeine-like compounds is chocolate. Even the healthiest form of chocolate contains theobromine that has caffeine-like effects that last for up to 12 hours. Even chocolates containing simple sugar can cause a big spike in your blood glucose levels. This, in turn, gives you excess energy, causing restlessness. Your harmless night snacking could be the main reason you are staying up all night. So, avoid eating too many chocolates if you want to prevent insomnia.
- Citrus Fruits
Consuming anything that is too acidic for dinner can trigger sleeplessness. Most citrus fruits are acidic and cause heartburn. Gastroesophageal reflux or heartburn can make it difficult for you to sleep comfortably as lying down triggers a burning sensation, causing disturbed sleep. Avoid consuming acidic foods like grapefruits, oranges or tomatoes before going to bed as heartburn is one of the causes of insomnia.
Healthy Eating Habits
There are many things that can impact how comfortably you sleep. Apart from what you eat, here are a few useful tips that will facilitate restful sleep. Making these few adjustments can promise better quality of sleep.
- Limit The Quantity
Avoid having large meals at dinner. Eating too much might make you drowsy but it won’t guarantee rested sleep. Your body will be able to easily digest smaller quantities of food. But that does not mean you starve yourself. Eat just the right portions of food, and you can prevent insomnia.
- Avoid Midnight Snacking
When you don’t consume enough food, you remain hungry. This causes you to constantly wake up to snack. It not only disturbs your sleep but also impacts your overall health. So, have sufficient meals so that you don’t have the need to snack again later in the night.
- Eat On Time
You should always eat your last meal of the day early, say, in the evening. That gives your body at least three hours before you go to bed. Eating late can keep your digestive system working late and prevent your body from completely shutting down.
- Avoid Fatty Foods
Eating unhealthy fat foods throughout the day can impact your sleep, causing fragmented sleep. When your body lacks proper rest, it starts to crave fatty foods, but you should control that urge if you want to avoid sleepless nights.
A good night’s sleep is mandatory for having a productive day the next morning. Sleep deprivation can harm the body in different ways. Hence, if you suffer from insomnia, try making these changes to your lifestyle. They can help you sleep better at night.