There are many tips and tricks that you can implement to help you get to sleep every night. Many of them come in the form of practicing a good night time routine, which are basic habits that one can apply to their nightly routines that promote getting great sleep at night. One of the most underrated sleep practices that really go far in improving quality sleep is making the right dietary choices.
Almost everybody is aware of the value that eating certain foods is instrumental in our daily lives. Eating the right foods gives us the energy we need to complete tasks, strengthen our immune system against diseases, improve cognitive functions, heal wounds, repair bones and tissues, help our children grow and develop, and basically everything else we need to live happy, healthy, productive lives.
Just as there are foods and drinks that help promote sleep, there are also foods to avoid that can rob you of sleep. Many of the foods to avoid on this list are healthy (if you have the corrects portion) for you to eat, but just not recommended to eat before bed because they can interfere with sleep.
Contrary to popular belief alcohol does not help promote sleep. While it can make you drowsy and more likely to fall asleep faster, it often disrupts sleep and can deter you from entering the deeper, much needed phases of the sleep cycles.
The result: you wake up feeling less rested after a night of heavy drinking or drinking too much too close to when you try to sleep than on nights you skip the libations.
The good news is you don’t necessarily need to swear off a drink or two. I suggest drinking in moderation (one unit of alcohol a day for females and two units a day for males if you want to have an alcoholic beverage) and not drinking too close to bedtime.
- Foods and drinks that contain caffeine
Drinks containing caffeine such as coffee, or even energy drinks can really help you if you’re feeling tired and just need a little pick-me-up to get the day going. However, it’s not recommended to drink caffeine after lunch (and especially near bedtime), as it can interfere with sleep by keeping your mind overactive. Foods with dark chocolate are also high in caffeine and should be avoided late in the day.
It’s important to note that caffeine can stay in the bloodstream for up to six hours after you consume it, which is why nearly every sleep guideline you read suggests limiting caffeine in the afternoon and evening hours.
If you’re not having trouble sleeping, you don’t necessarily need to limit or cut back on caffeine, but if you are looking for a way to improve your sleep, how much and when you drink caffeine throughout the day should be one of the first things to consider.
- Spicy foods
While spicy foods are often delicious and even have many noted health benefits, eating spicy foods too close to bedtime can be a very bad idea. Spicy foods are notorious for causing heartburn, indigestion, and acid reflux. Heartburn can be made worse while lying down as it allows the acids to creep up into the oesophagus and burn the sensitive lining – which will undoubtedly interfere with your sleep.
Research shows poor sleeping patterns have been linked to overeating, bad food choices and increased rates of obesity and metabolic diseases. Psychologically if you are tired, your hormones especially your appetite hormones increase and with that increase you cravings and hunger because your body wants energy to wake you up. Normally we are not hungry for healthy veggies and whole grains. When a person is sleep deprived they normally reach out to refined sugary foods or high fat foods that are easy to get hold of like biscuits and chips. Your stress hormones also become elevated and if that happens it slows down and even stops all weight loss efforts dead in its tracks.
Thus make sure you are getting enough shut eye and make sure you are eating for your body to be able to sleep to help you reach your healthy lifestyle goals.