Can‘t Fall Asleep? These Foods May Be the Culprit

At the end of each day, one thing everyone looks forward to is a good night’s sleep. On average, an adult is supposed to enjoy at least 7 hours of sleep for them to be functional. When you get enough sleep, you are happier and less stressed during the day. If you do not get enough sleep, you become less productive and feel sluggish throughout the day. There are several reasons that can lead to sleeplessness. The most critical one is what you eat before bedtime. There are foods that wake you up at night and make it hard for you to get adequate rest.

Therefore, it is very important for you to learn about these foods and ensure you avoid them if you are to enjoy a good night’s sleep. When you are mindful of what you eat before bedtime, you are able to wake up the next morning well rested and energized.

Foods That Make It Difficult for You to Fall Asleep at Night

  1. Spicy Foods

Spicy foods are normally acidic in nature. These foods mess with your stomach’s pH levels and will keep you awake at night. This is because most people have digestive systems that take a while to digest spices. When your digestive system is made to work throughout the night to break down the spices, your body does not rest well. This is why you wake up feeling tired in the morning. It is, therefore, advisable for you to consume less spicy foods before bedtime.

  1. Fried Foods

Fried foods also interfere with your sleep at night. This is also due to the time it takes for your body to digest fatty foods. Therefore, instead of having fried foods such as burgers and French fries at night, try grilled, roasted, baked, steamed or sautéed foods. This cuts down on the amount of fats you consume.  

  1. Caffeine     

Dark chocolate, sodas, tea and coffee all contain caffeine. Caffeine is known to keep the body alert and energized. This can prevent you from falling asleep on time, and this will limit the number of hours you get to rest. If you must take a beverage before bedtime, consider other options such as fresh fruit juice or water. Not only are these healthy alternatives, but they also do not mess with your sleep.

  1. Taking Heavy Meals 

When you eat foods that are rich in fats, protein and fiber, you may have difficulty falling and staying asleep. While these are healthy foods, they can keep you awake if you overindulge. This is because your digestive system will work hard throughout the night to break down these foods. Nonetheless, your body needs proteins and fiber so ensure to take them at least 3 hours before bedtime. This gives your system enough time to digest the food before you go to bed.

  1. Alcohol

Most people will be surprised to find alcohol under foods that wake you up at night. This is because many people take alcohol to try to induce sleep. While this is true, alcohol also wakes you up at night. Alcohol reduces your REM sleep. This is why you wake up feeling like you didn’t sleep at all. Therefore, it is advisable for you to pick days when you can indulge in alcohol and ensure you drink wisely. Going to sleep without using alcohol will greatly benefit you.

  1. Tyramine-Containing Foods

Foods that have been fermented, like aged cheese, sour cream, and yoghurt, contain this ingredient. Tyramine is an amino acid that stimulates your brain activity. This prevents you from falling into deep sleep.

  1. Too Much Sugar

It is advisable to avoid foods rich in sugar, especially at night. This again goes back to the process of digestion. Avoid taking sugar desserts, sauces and condiments as they contain sugar and also a lot of additives which digest slowly. Instead, have vegetables and fruits or lean protein in the place of sugary foods.

  1. Foods That Are Not Nutrient Dense/ Junk Food

It is important to ensure you consume foods that are packed with nutrients that fuel your body while repairing it. Foods that are not nutrient rich make it hard for you to fall asleep. Choose foods that give you vitamins and minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium. These support the function of your body and make digestion easier. Legumes, leafy greens, vegetables, seeds and nuts rich foods are the most ideal.

  1. Foods That Give You Reflux  

There are foods that wake you up at night that trigger discomfort and indigestion. Caffeine, tomatoes and alcohol can cause indigestion and discomfort. Therefore, avoiding these foods can go a long way to ensure you get to fall asleep and stay asleep.

  1. Foods that do Not Promote Production of Dopamine and Serotonin

Dopamine and serotonin are hormones that are responsible for your good mood and feelings of happiness. When you eat foods that do not promote the production of these hormones, you end up becoming moody before bedtime, and this can lead to stress. Stress will keep your mind active from over thinking, and this can prevent you from falling asleep or sleeping throughout the night. Olive oil, avocados, oily fish and nuts are great foods that contribute to the production of these hormones.

  1. Some Herbs 

While there are good herbs that help in inducing sleep, some herbs are not recommended if you want to sleep throughout the night. Red peppers and black peppers are good examples of herbs to avoid at night. This is because they promote hyperactivity and this keeps your brain alert for a long time. By the time the effects wear out, you will have wasted a few hours of your sleep time. This leads to less sleep time and you wake up feeling tired and grumpy. Also, pepper can cause indigestion and stomach upset, which are a recipe for a sleepless night.

In a word, try to limit the foods that wake you up at night and eat in a healthier way.