10 Foods to Avoid Before Bed
You often find yourself unable to fall asleep, tossing and turning in your bed throughout the night? You’ve already tried meditation, developing sleeping patterns, going offline an hour before you go to bed, yet you’re still struggling? Don’t lose all your hope just yet. Here are 10 foods to avoid before bed!
We understand how frustrating that can be, but before you book an expensive consultation with a sleep expert, you might want to take a closer look at what you eat. Changing your diet a bit, or at least the time and ingredients of your meals might be all you need to finally get some rest and even improve the quality of sleep.
With the help of holistic approach specialists from Primalharvest.com, we have prepared a list of food that may impact your sleep. Read on to find out!
To all spicy food lovers – relax, you don’t have to give it up completely. However, if you’re a hot sauce fan, you might want to plan to eat your favourite meals earlier in the day. That’s because spicy foods take longer to digest, and you won’t be able to sleep soundly with your digestion system in the middle of the process. It very often leads to heartburn and indigestion, which can only get worse once you lie down.
It comes as a huge surprise to many people, but tomatoes contain a lot of tyramine, an amino acid, which activates norepinephrine – a stress hormone and neurotransmitter responsible for boosting the activity of your brain. Knowing that, you probably realize why you shouldn’t eat it within several hours before going to bed. Sadly, it also includes tomato sauce and ketchup, so some comfort foods (such as spaghetti or pizza) are a no-no, especially since the sauce is even more acidic, which can lead to stomach problems.
Apart from tomatoes, tyramine can also be found in cured meat and cheese.
While alcohol may make you feel sleepy and make it easier for you to fall asleep wherever and whenever, unfortunately, it will prevent you from staying asleep. By engaging in the digestion process (especially difficult in the case of alcohol), your body will reduce the time you spend in REM sleep. It means that you will be more likely to wake up in the middle of the night, and you won’t be resting as effectively as usual. Moreover, some alcohols, such as white wine, may cause heartburn.
If you have sleeping problems, reducing the caffeine intake is a no-brainer – you probably know that, so you limit yourself to one or two cups of coffee, only in the morning. However, you might want to rethink everything you consume throughout the day. For example, dark chocolate contains surprisingly high levels of caffeine, and if you particularly like to snack on it, it may cause problems with falling asleep in the evening.
It is recommended to avoid caffeine within six hours before bedtime.
Moreover, drinks such as green tea or matcha contain not only caffeine but also other stimulants.
First of all, most sodas contain caffeine. Additionally, they are incredibly sweet, and sugar can make you jumpy for a short period of time – a blood sugar spike is usually followed by a sudden drop. Then, when you go to sleep soon after drinking a soda, your metabolism slows down and stores the calories instead of energizing you, which will lead to weight gain.
The same goes for basically anything high in sugar. You need to stay wary of, for example, cereals – you might not realize how much sugar is in your favourite cereal brand.
Mint is known for causing heartburn, so you should stay cautious of it at all times, but especially in the evenings – peppermints included, so don’t use them to freshen your breath after dinner. Some people like to soothe their minds and bodies with a cup of mint tea before bed when, in fact, you should rather avoid it.
Citrus fruits may not disrupt your sleep directly, but they are known for their diuretic properties, which means that they will make you go to the toilet more often. As ideally, you want to sleep for 8 hours straight, you’d probably like to avoid that.
Other natural diuretics include green and black tea, parsley, hibiscus, celery, cucumbers, watermelon, grapes, or berries.
Not only spaghetti and pizza should be off your list of evening comfort foods. Ice cream, fried meals, your favorite cheeseburger, french fries, or anything high in fat make your digestion slow, cause bloating and indigestion, and prevent you from sleeping well.
You are more likely to wake up during the night because of something you have eaten too close to bedtime than from being hungry. Some people think that they need to stuff themselves to stay full until morning, but high-protein foods can lead to acid reflux and indigestion.
Due to their low water content and a lot of fiber, eating dried fruits before bedtime may cause cramps and gas later during the night. So, if you like to add them to your oats or yogurt – do it in the morning.
Don’t get us wrong – you should definitely stay hydrated throughout the whole day. However, make sure not to overdrink right before bedtime, as it will simply make your toilet trips much more frequent.
The Right Foods – the Key to Sleeping Soundly
As you can see, falling asleep is only half of your success – staying asleep is a whole different story. And since sleep is vital to your productivity and general wellbeing, you should make sure you’re doing everything within your power to provide your organism with a much-needed rest.
Keeping in mind the foods we have listed above is the first step to switching to the right, sleep-friendly diet. Unfortunately, it’s not all. All people are different, and as food allergies and intolerances are quite common, you need to keep monitoring what you eat and how your body reacts to it.
The ultimate advice here is – listen to your body! Don’t neglect any ailments – it might be the sign of a bigger issue. So, take care of yourself, exercise, and eat properly.
And, hopefully, sweet dreams!
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