It seems like everyone struggles with getting enough sleep these days. Even if you do not have a sleep disorder, you do not need any more challenges to a good night’s rest.
Good sleep hygiene includes healthy nutrition and wisely choosing your dinners and late-night snacks.
So, what types of foods should be cut out of your nighttime routine? In general, you want to decrease your consumption of stimulants, foods that are difficult to digest, dishes with too much sugar or spice, and those which aggravate heartburn.
Here are nine types of food and drinks that you should avoid eating before getting tucked in for the night.
It may seem like a few beers, a couple of glasses of wine or a nightcap help you fall asleep. Yet, there are three solid reasons not to drink alcohol, especially in excess, before bed.
- Alcohol probably does help you doze off, but it interrupts the natural sleep cycle later on during the night. This can decrease the amount of restorative REM sleep that you get.
- Consuming alcohol relaxes all the muscles in the body, which can exacerbate obstructive sleep apnea and loud snoring.
- The oesophagal sphincter is a muscle that is also affected by alcohol. When it relaxes, it tends to cause acid reflux.
Meals that seem to weigh on your stomach take longer to digest. Fatty, cheesy and fried foods can lead to indigestion and stay up at night. Avoid cheeseburgers, fries, fried foods and large steaks late in the day.
Foods with High Water Content
Getting up to go to the bathroom can disrupt your rest. Of course, drinking plenty of water is essential for staying healthy, but you want to avoid getting a full bladder at night.
It is best to steer clear of foods with high water content, including nutritious ones. This includes celery, watermelon, and cucumbers.
Foods with Hidden Caffeine
Check the nutrition labels. Many foods have caffeine, even when you may not expect it. Tea and soda are usually caffeinated unless labelled otherwise.
Some ice creams and desserts have espresso, coffee, or chocolate. Chocolate and other foods with caffeine act as stimulants.
They make it more challenging to slip into the deeper stages of sleep and decrease the amount of REM sleep you would typically get.
Super Sugary Treats
Insulin yo-yos wreak havoc on sleep patterns. That is why you should avoid overly sugary snacks that can cause your blood sugar to spike and crash. Sugary cereals, desserts, and candy are not good nighttime treats.
To increase sleep quality, specialists recommend cutting out foods with a high amount of tyramine later in the day.
This amino acid causes the brain to release a natural stimulant that facilitates brain activity.
This can make falling asleep more challenging. Foods rich in tyramine include tomatoes, soy sauce, eggplant, red wine and aged cheeses.
Anyone with heartburn knows that spicy dishes can lead to problems at night.
Well, there is another reason to avoid them. Naturally, your body temperature should be lower to facilitate sleep.
However, hot peppers can boost your body’s temperature. Feeling hot can make you lie awake for longer. If you love food with a kick, try eating it at breakfast or lunch instead of dinner.
Another trigger for acid reflux is – no surprise – highly acidic food.
Things like citrus juice, raw onion, white wine and tomato sauce can disturb sleep by making heartburn worse.
That is why you may regret eating a slice of pizza before bed.
Foods that Make You Gassy
Some types of cuisine could spell disaster for sound sleep. Foods that are difficult to digest and contain a lot of fibre may cause painful gas.
Pressure and cramping caused by too much-dried fruit, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts can keep you up late.
High-fibre fruits and vegetables are great for your body but not great for sleep; try to avoid them before bedtime.