We are what we eat! I am sure that you have heard that before. But have you ever related your diet to sleep?
Diet has a direct correlation to how you sleep at night. If you are sleeping poorly, then you might want to evaluate what you eat.
We have all been there – we get a bad night’s sleep, drink a coffee in the late afternoon because who really has time to nap? Then we go to bed a few hours later.
Tick-tock-tick-tock, it’s 3 a.m. We can’t sleep. Caffeine, with its stimulant effects, is still in our system. We wake up unrested and rely on caffeine the next day to wake us up. This can be a never-ending cycle.
Is this you? If so, we suggest monitoring your caffeine intake. According to Psychology Today, you should not consume caffeine past 2 pm. Coffee even six hours before bedtime resulted in significantly less sleep quality.
Unfortunately, caffeine is not only in your coffee. Caffeine can also be found in many sodas and chocolate. Check the labels before you eat questionable foods later in the day.
Caffeine does not have to be avoided completely! In moderation, your morning coffee can be a great way to start the day. The Psychology Journal suggests three ways to consume caffeine without wrecking your sleep:
- Stick to a 2 pm Cut-Off
Avoid drinking coffee past 2 pm to prevent sleep disruption.
2. Taper Caffeine as the Day Progresses
Start your day with coffee and switch to tea or decaf as the day continues.
3. Avoid Jumbo Drinks
The jumbo drinks we get at coffee shops can easily have five shots of espresso. Avoid 20 ounce coffees or energy drinks. Instead, try sipping on herbal tea.
Spicy or Acidic Foods
Spicy foods can cause heartburn which may inhibit your ability to sleep. Heartburn is especially worse with people that have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), commonly called acid reflex.
Acid reflex often gets worse when you lay down. Your esophagus is the protector against acid rising into your throat. When you lay down, you could cause a backflow of acid into your esophagus that irritates your throat and larynx. If you ever wake up coughing or choking, acid reflex could be the problem.
There are many highly acidic foods to be avoided if you are suffering from acid reflex.
Highly Acidic Foods
- High-Fat Meats –Beef, Pork, Lamb
- High- Fat Dairy Products –Cheese, Milk, Ice Cream
Have you been using a “nightcap” for a good night’s sleep?
If you have, you might need to change your bedtime routine!
According to Timothy Roehrs, who is the director of sleep research at the Sleep Disorders and Research Center of the Henry Ford Hospital, “alcohol has extensive effects of sleep and daytime sleepiness.”
Initially, a healthy person may not feel the effects of alcohol on sleep after one drink. A healthy person often falls asleep faster and deeper, but alcohol reduces Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.
REM is believed to be the restorative phase of sleep. REM is when we dream, and REM disruptions may cause daytime drowsiness and loss of concentration. Alcohol helps induce sleep but you do not receive the restorative stage that helps you feel energized the next day.
Decaffeinated tea could be a great alternative to a drink before bed.
Nearly 9 million Americans use prescription sleep aids to fall asleep, however the long-term effects of medications can be unknown. Non-pharmaceutical treatments are needed with the high number of individuals who are complaining that they can’t sleep.
Bedphones provides a non-pharmaceutical treatment that could help you sleep easier. Nevertheless, we want all of our customers to find the root of their problem.
Are you eating chocolate before bed?
Do you eat red meat every day?
Talk to your physician to get professional help on how your diet might be affecting your sleep.