Want to Enjoy Good Sleep? Avoid These Worst Eating Habits before Bedtime
A good night’s sleep.
How many of us yearn for it. In the United States alone, approximately 50 to 70 million people suffer from a sleep disorder. Moreover, 1 in every 3 adults fails to get the recommended hours of sleep for good health.
Here are some of the reasons why you’re having sleep problems according to Reader’s Digest Asia:
- Early dinner. When your sleeping time is at 11 pm but you dine at 5 pm, chances are you’ll get hungry to the point that it interferes with your sleep. If this is your habit, a light snack a couple of hours after dinner will help ease your stomach and get you ready for bed before midnight. But you must also avoid eating too late in the evening because it can give you heartburn and other health troubles.
- Drinking coffee in the afternoon. Best to avoid caffeine after lunchtime because it takes at least 6 hours for the body to get rid of half of it from a mug of coffee you’ve consumed. Caffeine also causes nervousness and insomnia according to the Sleep Health Foundation.
- Big dinner. According to sleep specialist Dr. Michael Breus, our body is programmed to digest food in a sitting or standing position. That’s why overeating before getting to bed will make you uncomfortable and your sleep disturbed by the longer hours of digestion.
- Alcohol consumption before bedtime. Yes, alcohol helps you sleep but just lightly. It’s the reason why people wake up with a hangover, because they were not able to have a deep sleep, which the body needs to be fully rejuvenated. Dr. Breuss advised that if you want a drink or two at dinnertime, match your alcohol consumption with a glass of water. You should also allow your body 3 hours to digest the alcohol before going to sleep.
- Spicy dinner. Spicy foods can cause indigestion or heartburn; that’s why you should avoid a spicy dinner for quality sleep. Further, according to Dr. Breuss, “There is some data to show that eating spicy food may cause a higher proclivity for nightmares.”
- Strict diet. Having a strict diet makes you constantly think of what you’ve eaten and not eaten that day, to the point it causes disruption to your sleep. It’s also difficult to fall asleep when you’re feeling hungry and anxious.
- Missing out on sleep-inducing foods. If you want quality sleep, some foods can help you attain it. You can make a smoothie with bananas, kiwis, tart cherry juice concentrate, and ice. The magnesium in bananas helps with sleep, while kiwi levels up the production of serotonin that calms the mind and body. Tart cherry juice concentrate, on the other hand, raises the melatonin level in the body that induces sleep.
- Ice cream before bedtime. You should avoid high-fat dairy foods before hitting the hay, because these could interfere with sleep, according to new research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. High-sugar and low-fiber diets also cause sleep troubles. You can still eat coffee- and chocolate-flavored ice cream before bedtime but make sure to control the portion, said Dr. Breuss.