There’s a sleeping problem that millions of Americans are experiencing on a day-to-day basis. Insomnia, that is. It can be caused by stress or sometimes, food. Don’t we hate that feeling of craving for food right before we hit the hay? Well it can be a major sleeping disaster if not properly controlled.
Sleep is something that relaxes our mind and our body from worries, stress, and work. We all need it to refresh our minds and prepare our bodies to complete our personal tasks and social responsibilities. If we lack sleep, we might not have the energy to do the things that we need to do and if this continues in a long term setting, this might affect our health. However, it is not only the physiological and psychological aspects that affect sleep should be taken into consideration. Sometimes, food can also play a factor in sleep deprivation. Midnight snacks or late dinner meals are actually not recommended if you’re planning to sleep right after. It can cause sleep problems, or even worse, risks for other systemic problems. Here are some foods that are proven to rob you of your well-needed sleep.
Fatty and Protein Packed Foods. People who have a high-fat and high-protein diet commonly experience sleep disruption and weight gain. Fatty and protein packed foods are difficult to digest, which takes at least two hours or more before being fully digested. Excessive intake of fatty and caloric foods before sleeping can leave you having an uncomfortable feeling of a full stomach. High intake of fatty foods and living a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risks for obesity, or even diabetes. Obese people usually experience disruption in their sleeping pattern, and if not controlled, can also contribute to other sleeping problems like sleep apnea.
Sugary Foods. Sugar has a stimulating element, a component that can keep you energized and deprives you from an easy sleep. It can also affect your blood sugar levels during nighttime and causes sleep disturbance. Carbohydrates are also commonly found in sugary foods. Excessive carbs in the body can lead to increased body fat, and sleeping doesn’t help you burn them off from your body. Sugary foods can keep you awake and energized for some time, but it doesn’t work as a sleep substitute as nothing in the world can keep you mentally and physically fresh and energized aside from regular sleep.
Spicy Food. There are some herbs and spices that are actually sleep-friendly, but most spicy foods are said to irritate a person’s upper digestive tract. If your digestive tract is sensitive and you consume a highly spiced meal an hour or so before sleeping, you might be experiencing some pain in your upper digestive tract and also reflux that will keep you awake and sleep deprived. Most spicy foods are also high in fat or protein. Like meat, the digestive system works overtime.
Caffeine. Caffeine works as a stimulant that stops the hormonal action in the brain which is responsible for making us sleepy. Thus, it is not advisable to drink at least an hour before you sleep if you’re planning to have a good night’s rest. Definitely, high caffeine intake can really keep you up and energized for a long time, but if taken excessively for a long period, it can lead to a medical condition called caffeinism. It causes extreme headaches, nervousness, tremulousness, anxiety, hyperreflexia and insomnia, and risks for heart palpitations. Caffeine is also proven to increase stomach acidity and if intake is not controlled, it can lead to gastric diseases like peptic ulcer and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Caffeinated products include coffee, softdrinks, chocolates, or tea.
Fluids. Intake of fluids on a daily basis is advisable to keep our body hydrated. But excessive fluid intake before sleeping can cause sleep disruption. When you drink lots of water before you go to bed, it would mean frequent trips to the loo at night. Sometimes it gets into your sleeping pattern, keeping you up and sleepless. Control your fluid intake at night before hitting the bed and have a good night and undisrupted sleep.
Living a healthy lifestyle and restraining yourselves from unhealthy cravings can put you in a great slumber state. But food is just one aspect that affects sleep. You should also put aside your stress and keep your mind free from worries so you won’t have a disrupted sleeping pattern.