Sleep is truly one of the most powerful tools we have. It has the potential to revitalise and re-energise us. A good night of sleep is not only going to put you in a good mood, it will also boost your immune system, have a positive effect on your mental health and help your skin glow, to name a few. However, there are several factors that can affect a good night’s sleep, some of which are often beyond our control.
One of the easiest factors that we are able to control, however, is what we choose to eat close to bedtime. Some foods are just not conducive to a good night of sleep for a number of reasons. Let’s take a closer look at some of the foods to avoid close to bedtime in order to help ensure physical health and mental clarity.
Sometimes, all you want after dinner is a bit of ice cream. While this frozen delight is undeniably a delicious treat, it is better eaten in the afternoon. A serving of ice cream before bed can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. It is high in sugar and can spike your levels of insulin. High levels of insulin can make it incredibly difficult to fall asleep.
Furthermore, snacking on ice cream less than three hours before bed can lead to increased cortisol levels, which is a hormone that can also cause difficulty when falling asleep.
Fatty foods like burritos, pizza and burgers may be delicious but they are really bad for your sleeping pattern. These foods tend to take longer to digest, which means that they will encourage your body to stay up working instead of relaxing.
These foods can also often cause bloating and indigestion, both of which can interfere with a sound night of rest, leaving you to wake up the following morning feeling lethargic instead of refreshed.
Spicy foods are fantastic for boosting your metabolism, but they could ruin your chances of falling asleep easily. Rather keep them for when you need energy and can’t decide where to play for the most fun. Food on the spicier side can trigger heartburn in certain people, and it can increase your body’s core temperature.
As we drift off to sleep, our core temperature naturally decreases, so eating something that could raise it can lead to you feeling more awake and could cause you to wake up in the middle of the night once you do manage to get to sleep.
High protein dinners
While high protein meals are known to keep us fuller for longer, a dinner that is too high in fat or protein could lead to disturbances in your sleep. This is thought to be due to there being less tryptophan being present in foods like steak. Tryptophan is the amino acid that serves as a precursor to serotonin.
Furthermore, like many other foods that have the potential to keep us up at night, high protein meals could lead to indigestions or acid reflux, which may well lead to you tossing and turning all night instead of sleeping.