How many times have you eaten or drank something before bed and regretted it later?
Diet has a huge effect on the quality of your sleep, and it can keep you awake and interfere with your sleeping pattern if you don’t keep track of it. The key here is to get your mind and body in a relaxed state. While some of these foods you will be aware of, there are a few which might surprise you.
Having a coffee may be a great way to start the day, but it’s probably the worst way to end the night. Caffeine works by stimulating the nervous system causing an increase in heart rate and dopamine levels.
Not only that, it suppresses Melatonin for up to 10 hours, an important chemical which occurs naturally in the brain and is responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycle of the body. Needless to say, this is the last thing you want to put into your body before you sleep!
Are you partial to a cigarette before bedtime? Studies have shown that smokers are four times more likely than non-smokers to have trouble sleeping. The initial stimulating effect of nicotine and the later withdrawal symptoms may keep you from enjoying the deep sleep needed to feel fresh in the morning.
As mentioned previously, a moderate to heavy intake of alcohol before bed can make it easier to fall asleep but results in lower quality sleep. By making a habit of drinking before bed, you also run the risk of developing a higher tolerance for alcohol and long-term health problems.
Sugar and refined carbohydrates
These type of foods are a little harder to spot. They provide a burst of energy to your body at the expense of other essential nutrients such as Vitamin B, which aides in sleep and dreaming. Too much of these before bed will leave you feeling wired.
Spicy or fatty foods
Getting heartburn can turn a good night’s sleep into an awful one, so stay clear of anything likely to upset your tummy after you are in bed.
Going to bed on a full stomach can lead to a lower quality of sleep, so time your meals earlier at night to allow your stomach time to digest.
Try and avoid drinking lots of water or juice before bed, as this will increase the chance of you waking up in the middle of the night to make a trip to the loo. Ninety minutes is the ideal time to stop drinking before bed.
Do you have certain foods that you avoid before bedtime? Let me know in the comments section below!