Getting a good night’s sleep is something that we all need however many of us do not sleep well, nor stay asleep or get enough hours sleeping. There are many things that can affect our sleep. Some of the common things include technology use before sleep, a racing mind that you have trouble calming down and even outside noises, but did you know that your diet may also be affecting your sleep?
Foods to avoid
Fast food has a great deal of fat content, causing them to impact negatively on your sleep. Acid production in the stomach caused by these high fat foods can spill into the oesophagus and cause heartburn. Heartburn can make it very difficult to get to sleep. Avoiding these foods may help you get to sleep faster at night.
Any type of alcohol can be one of the worst things to drink before bed. It is metabolised quickly in your system causing you to wake up many times through the night. There has been a study conducted that concluded that just 1 glass of a mixed spirit such as bourbon or vodka, which are commonly mixed with a caffeine free soft drink, can reduce your sleep by around 19 minutes.
There are a lot of people that agree that coffee is not a drink that should be consumed before bed. This is due to its high caffeine content. Coffee is considered one of the strongest stimulants readily available today. Its affect can vary, depending on how much coffee you are used to drinking. Consuming a stimulant such as coffee should be done early in your day rather than late in the afternoon or night.
Dark chocolate has a higher caffeine content than milk chocolate which makes it a sleep inhibitor. Even a small serving of dark chocolate can contain a fair amount of caffeine and it also contains theobromine, a muscle stimulating chemical that increases heart rate and causes restlessness.
Of course, these should be avoided due to, once again, caffeine. Energy drinks contain a large amount of caffeine in them. A standard can of Red Bull has up to 80mgs of caffeine. The effects of caffeine can take up to 8 hours to wear off so best to just avoid these types of drinks altogether.
If you eat a lot of spicy food there is a good chance that you may be having trouble falling asleep and you may even be experiencing a light sleep when you do finally fall asleep and waking not rested. Spices can also cause heartburn. So next time you are having a late meal keep in mind that a spicy, high-fat meal could keep you awake.
There are some foods though that could help you get a better night’s sleep. These foods include cherries; which are a sleep cycle regulator, milk; because it contains the amino acid tryptophan which is a precursor to serotonin, Jasmine rice; because quickly digested foods high on the glycaemic index allow a faster sleep onset, and also sweet potato; this is because they contain complex carbohydrates and potassium which are both sleep promoting agents.
If you are having trouble sleeping at night or awaken unrested give us a call and book a time for us to see how we can help. It may just need a simple natural supplement for a while to get you started to a good night’s sleep. We can help you modify your diet and create a better balance in your life so you are not overwhelmed with too much work and no play. Call us today!