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Don’t Want Another Sleepless Night? Avoid These 8 Foods

Don’t Want Another Sleepless Night? Avoid These 8 Foods

Everyone knows that our health is largely determined by our diets. But you may not realize that what we eat can affect whether we can sleep tight at night. Actually, there are some foods that disrupt our sleep, making us one of the many insomniacs in the world (30%) lying sleepless and restless! [1]

Nightcaps may sound so cool in books and movies, but in real life, all they do is keeping you awake. As long as you stick to one small drink of alcohol for women and two small for men, it’s fine. More than that usually tends to cause random awakenings [2] at night – leaving you sleepless and tired.

Coffee is another drink you need to stay awake, not fall asleep. Caffeine and its derivatives are stimulants [3] – so unless you want to stay awake to finish that report or assignment, keep that cuppa away.

Want to know what other foods we are talking about? Read on…

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1. Roughage Is Good, Just Not At Bed Time

High-fiber foods are great for health (in moderation) for they aid in good digestion and help in weight loss as they also make you eat less. [4]

However, eating a late dinner with high-fiber foods such as lentils, beans, peas or oatmeal may not make for restful sleep. A late dinner followed by immediate bedtime means you haven’t let the food be digested and your tummy is likely to rumble and grumble its disapproval through the night, leaving you sleepless.

2. More Veggies? Thanks, I’ll Pass

Leafy or green veggies like spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, beans and even garlic are good for health but they are also diuretic in nature, [5] meaning they help the body expel toxins via urination.

So eating a hefty helping of these at dinner means you might need a bathroom break at night, and end up having a disturbed sleep as a result

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3. Red Meat At Night, No One’s Delight!

While many experts believe that red meat should be shown the door for good, still others believe that lean meat is, in fact, a great source of protein and good to eat in moderation (but it still has a high fat content too). However, high-protein foods like meat need time to be digested well.

Wading through a steak before snooze time may leave you lying sleepless in bed till the wee hours of the morning with general discomfort, bloating and even cramping. [6]

4. Sugar & Spice, Not So Very Nice

Sodas, sugary drinks or cocktails, and even that bowl of ice-cream may sound like comfort food on days that you are tired but in fact is anything but.

Sugar gives your body a rush of energy [7] – so eating anything that’s giving you a second wind just before bedtime is unlikely to let you, or your body, be at rest. And you’ll be extra tired in the morning because of being sleepless.

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5. Add Some Spice! But Not Too Much Please

While hot food is said to be an aphrodisiac, you better believe that it’s no sleep inducer. Spicy and peppery food irritate the stomach lining which in turns wakes up your brain – meaning you get poor sleep.

6. Frying Up Some Goodies, No Can Do

Fritters, fries and all things deep-fried and nice? Avoid high-fat foods for dinner for the same reason you would avoid a high-protein plate.

The stomach needs to work extra hard to break down and digest the grease – and it can do this best while you’re up and active. If you fall asleep after this heart attack disguised as a meal; expect heartburn, cramping, bathroom trips and morning fatigue.[8]

7. A Chocolate Lover? Have It For Lunch Instead

Eating chocolate can give you a runner’s high [9] with its cocktail of caffeine, theobromine, phenylethylamine and anandamide.

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It can get your heart rate up too. Not something you want when you are trying to snooze!

8. More Burger? No thanks, I’m Chickening Out

In this ever growing list of things to avoid for dinner; add in your favorite burger too and wish it a fond goodbye.

The high-protein chicken, high-carb bread and high-fat spread and fries all together make for a meal that just won’t sit well in your stomach [10] while you snooze. The solution is to eat your dinner early, and keep it as light and balanced as you can.

Now that you have a list of what not to over indulge in at night, have a glass of milk instead [11] to soothe those frazzled nerves. A soothing room and a happy stomach are all you need to avoid being sleepless.

Reference

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Rima Pundir

Health, Wellness & Productivity Writer

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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