Avoid these Foods for a Better Night’s Sleep
If you’re not sleeping your best it might be time you start looking at your diet. What we put in our mouths affects more than just our weight and energy, what we eat impacts our quality of sleep which then affects all aspects of our health and well-being. Avoid these foods, especially close to bedtime, if you want to take control of your sleep.
Steak is high in protein and therefore takes longer to digest which may disrupt your Circadian rhythm and the overall quality of sleep. High-fat, high-protein diets have been linked to sleep apnoea which can completely ruin your overall health.
- Spicy Food
Spicy food can disrupt a good night’s sleep in two ways. It can result in heartburn and a restless sleep and it can raise the core body temperature which leads to poor sleep quality. If you don’t want to skip your favourite hot curry, eat it as early as you can. Even herbs like red pepper and black pepper can disrupt your sleep due to their stimulatory qualities.
- Broccoli and Cauliflower
This might be the biggest surprise of all, but we are not saying stop eating your vegetables, we are just saying pay close attention to when you actually eat them. Some vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower actually contain tryptophan but the problem is they also contain high amounts of slow-to-digest fibre. This can keep your body working well into the night creating a conflict when you’re trying to get some sleep.
- Drinks to Avoid
Whilst alcohol can help you fall asleep faster, it reduces the amount of REM sleep we enjoy, meaning we spend less time in the sleep cycle that helps to repair and restore the mind and body. We all know coffee can be quite the barrier to a good sleep, it affects each person differently and even the smallest amount can disrupt your sleep. The stimulant can stay active in our bodies for eight to ten hours meaning we should not only avoid coffee but maybe chocolate too.
This one is probably obvious, but if you want to sleep better you have to cut out all the high fat foods especially close to bed time. The fattier, greasier and more fried your dinner is, the less sleep you will get. They will likely cause uncomfortable stomach problems and irritating heartburn. Avoid foods with saturated fats like potato chips or other high-fat snack foods; these reduce your serotonin levels which make sleeping far more difficult.
- Simple Carbohydrates
You may have noticed that complex carbohydrates are actually good for sleep, but that’s because they release insulin, which helps clear amino acids that compete with tryptophan. Simple carbohydrates on the other hand like white breads, low-quality pasta and sweets such as cookies, cakes, pastries and other sugary foods tend to reduce serotonin levels and do not promote sleep.
(Photo courtesy of www.inlifehealthcare.com)