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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 September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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