AVOID These and Indulge in Those if You Want to Sleep Tonight!
Care2.com researcher and writer, Jordyn Cormier knows what you better avoid if you want to sleep tonight. And since quality sleep is one of the pillars of good health (along with physical activity, proper hydration, low stress and healthy eating habits), this is worth paying attention to.
If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night, certain foods could be to blame. Research shows there are 6 foods that definitely have an adverse affect on sleep quality, and should be consumed well before bedtime if you’re a sensitive sleeper.
First, alcohol. Jordyn says that glass of wine so notorious for making you feel sleepy, works to sabotage your precious REM time. Alcohol can lessen the duration and quality of REM sleep, which is the most restorative part of your night. This cycle is hugely important and can impact concentration the next day, so if you’re feeling groggy and foggy it may be time to lay off the wine.
Next, celery, cucumbers, and watermelon. Because these foods have such a high water content, they act as a natural diuretics and cause a full nighttime bladder. Waking up mid-sleep sets you back, so it’s best to steer clear of eating them before bedtime lest you want to be interrupted by a full bladder at 3 a.m.
Also, fatty, fried foods. These take a long time to digest and can cause abdominal discomfort. If your stomach is achy, relaxing and falling asleep is so much more difficult. When you do indulge in very fatty or fried meals, try to consume them at least 3 hours before going to bed.
And watch out for chocolate and hot cocoa. While warm milk has long been considered a faithful sleep-inducer, warm milk with chocolate added to it does the opposite. If you’re caffeine sensitive, the caffeine in chocolate could have you buzzing a little later than you’d prefer. Also, the sugar content in a lot of chocolate can cause a blood sugar spike. This kind of blood sugar activity can cause restless, disturbed sleep. Indulge in hot cocoa a few hours before bedtime, or opt for herbal tea instead.
Then there’s meat. It takes a long time to digest meat — especially something like a thick steak. If you eat a lot of meat too close to bedtime, your body will still be digesting for hours. That means you can’t go full force into restorative sleep — your body has to multitask. This adds up to a fitful and often sleepless night.
Finally, soda. Here’s that lethal combination of caffeine and sugar again! Having a soda too close to bedtime is a sleep-killer for sure. The sugar causes a blood sugar spike; the caffeine stimulates brain activity. Chugging on soda too close to bedtime means you can pretty much kiss quality shut-eye goodbye.
Knowing what to avoid for good sleep is just the beginning. There are many foods that contain naturally occurring substances that bring on and protect sleep. I’ll conclude with some of the best choices to help you settle down for a quality rest:
Cheese and crackers
Passion fruit tea
Pure, raw honey
Shrimp and lobster
These foods are bedtime friends because of their amounts of tryptophan, magnesium, calcium, lactucarium (which has sedative properties that affects the brain similarly to opium), vitamin B6 (which helps make serotonin and melatonin), and nerve relaxers.
Now you know. And knowledge is power, and the power to sleep well can be a life-changer. So avoid these 6 boogie men and indulge in these 16 nighttime angels and you just might sleep like a baby!
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