You dread the night, not because of the myths of ghosts, demons and all other scary creatures that lurk in the night; it`s simply because you can’t sleep! While others bask in the bliss of a beautiful night rest after a stressful day, you lie with your eyes wide open; monitoring every activity of the night and groan at yet another night of interrupted sleep. Just before you go on with popping a plethora of sleep-inducing pills, take a deep breath and consider this—your insomnia may actually be the result of the things you consume during the day. Research shows that there are a number of diets that engage in sleep-theft. Let’s discuss 9 of these sleep marauders!
Let’s Talk about Wine!
Yes, wine can help you relax but sipping a glass or two of wine before bedtime actually does more harm than good to you in terms of your sleep. Wine may make you fall asleep immediately but guess what? This bliss is always short-lived as you are sure to wake up in the middle of the night feeling restless and suffering severe headaches. Worse still is that your short-lived night bliss may just be laden with so many nightmares that in a space of two hours, lions and monsters from your worst horror movies could have chased you around dreamland. Now, what happens when you have been running the entire time you were supposed to be resting? You naturally feel tired and drowsy the next morning. You may even end up acting like Grumpy from Snow White for the whole day.
So what happens if you just cannot stay away from wine? For persons with incurable wine addictions, experts advise that you pay allegiance to your glass of wine at least six hours before you sleep. If your bedtime is 9 p.m., for instance, you should have finished with everything wine before 3 p.m. It is also recommended that you drink a lot of water, as this will help reduce the effects of the wine on your sleep.
What about Green Tea?
This healthy tea type is simply not healthy enough when it comes to sleep and the reason is pretty simple: It contains caffeine. Generally, all caffeinated products are anti-sleep. Although green tea actually contains little caffeine, this caffeine is just big enough to ensure you stay awake all night. This ‘little’ caffeine can actually trigger your brain to secrete neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters ultimately kick-start your brain, heart and nervous system functions; leaving you feeling alert when you should really be hitting the sack.
The fact that green teas are consumed in their liquid form is one more reason you should stay away from them as your bedtime draws close. The consumption of excess green tea increases the water volume in your system. Now, what happens when the water volume in a dam is high? The excess water has to be released or the walls of the dam will come crashing down. This is exactly the same with your body. Your body has to let go of the excess water in your system. As such, you will find yourself waking up at frequent intervals to deal with washroom breaks when you ought to be sleeping.
Moving on to Chicken and Protein
Who wants to give up a bowl of tasty chicken? Oh, so yummy. But what about a smooth ride to dreamland? I’m sure you don’t want to lose that too. Chicken contains protein; a really useful nutrient your body needs to stay healthy. As useful as protein is, however, excessive consumption of meals that are high in protein can prevent sleep. Digging into a bowl of chicken before bedtime can distort your body’s internal clock; keeping you awake and alert when you should be sleeping. This is because proteins provide your body with the energy needed to stay alert and you do not need this kind of energy when you are about to sleep.
In addition, diets that contain a lot of protein often cause infrequent breathing patterns while you are asleep. This leaves you feeling irritable an extremely tired the next day. What else can you expect when you have already used up all the energy needed for the day’s job by staying awake when you ought to have been sleeping?
The Hot Herb
Spicy food is a no-no when it comes to matters of sleep. This is because they increase your body temperature and make you restless. They also cause heartburns and acid refluxes that leave you tossing and turning all night.
Preserved meats put you in the kind of state you should not be in before bedtime. All preserved meats contain tyramine; an amino acid that stimulates the body to produce neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters can make you agitated and alert when you should be snoozing.
Avoiding leafy greens like cabbage and broccoli before sleeping may just be commonsensical. These vegetables contain a whole lot of fiber that could bring about digestion problems. Specifically, vegetables can bring about the production of excess gas in your stomach. This can lead to burping, bloating and abdominal pain that could make sleeping an impossible task for you.
Et tu, Chocolates? Apparently, yes! That bar of chocolate that you eat every night just before bedtime may just be the reason sleep eludes you at night. Now, it doesn’t matter if you have been noshing on milk chocolates or the dark types. In fact, they both have similar effects when it comes to matters relating to sleep. Specifically, milk chocolates contain an element known as tyrosine which gets converted into dopamine when it gets into your body. Dopamine is a stimulant that causes alertness and restlessness at night. Dark chocolates are no saints either. Many of them contain more caffeine than what you would find in a cup of coffee and you know caffeine is not good for sleep. In addition, dark chocolates also contain a compound called theobromine. This compound increases your heart rate at night and also causes sleeplessness.
What about Aged Cheese and Bad Dreams?
You may have heard as a kid that cheese causes nightmares, right? While I am not so sure about that, one thing is certain—aged cheese is a great sleep stealer. Aged cheese is packed with a whole lot of tyramine; a type of amino acid and this can keep you up all night by stimulating your brain and making you restless. It could even cause migraines for you in the middle of the night. Experts advise that you avoid hard cheeses like Gouda, Cheddar, and Parmesan. If you must eat aged cheese, make sure you do so three hours before you sleep. If not, just stay away from it.
Another Reason to avoid Junk Food
Sleeping is definitely a big deal. The world around us is jam-packed with so many activities that any time we find a bit of rest, it is definitely precious. Don’t let what you eat during the day ruin your night. Avoid the foods listed above as your bedtime approaches and your ride to dreamland will certainly be a blissful one.