Sleeping can be tricky. For some, it could be as easy as nodding off as soon as they climb their beds. For others, it could be as difficult as working out a puzzle.
Surprisingly, one big piece of that riddle is your night time snack. There's no escaping the call of hunger just before you hit the sack, but did you know that your food choices can actually affect your overall slumber?
If you're looking forward to a good sleep, perhaps it’s best to stay away from these types of foods by night time:
Alcohol. Nothing preps up a doze-off than a glass of wine. While it's true that it will make you feel sleepy, did you know that alcohol disrupts your body's natural sleeping pattern? Regular consumption of alcohol before bedtime shifts your inner clock and causes you to wake earlier in the morning. What's more, the diuretic elements in alcohol increases your need to go to the toilet. The result: disrupted sleep, disrupted day.
Burgers. You might have missed dinner at work and here's your chance to make up for it. But before you chow down that stack of cheese, meat, veggies, and buns, read this: a heavy meal before bedtime, especially one that involves fats, leads to less restorative sleep. It might quell your savoury palette, but it won't give you the rest you need. Opt for fresh yogurt and apples instead, and chomp on a big breakfast in the morning.
Soda. Oops, your favourite carbonated drink is a no-no before bedtime. One main reason: it's loaded with sugar, which is one of the reasons why you're kept awake the entire night. Instead, drink a full glass of water to quell your thirst.
Cheese. Perhaps your quick snack involves cheese and crackers, which may seem innocent at first. But did you know that cheeses contain tyramine, an element that makes you more alert? Hold off that bite and replace your chosen snack with oats.
Citrus fruits. Glugging your favourite orange juice may not be a good idea before bedtime. Citrus fruits, despite their vitamins and minerals, increases the stomach's acidity and keeps you wide-eyed at night. Choose to tame your taste buds with a teaspoon of honey, which releases melatonin and helps you to wind down.
Spicy food. Are you a fan of curry? Put off eating a spoonful until you wake up, especially if you're prone to heartburn. Spicy foods cause indigestion; and, thanks to its capsaicin content, it will take your body longer to regulate temperature before it cools down for bedtime. Grab a banana instead; this filling fruit contains serotonin and melatonin, both of which encourages good sleep.
You have all the freedom to enjoy the food you like; but if you start having sleeping problems, perhaps you might want to check on what you just ate. Make smart food choices at night; choose those that foster sleep rather than keep you awake. Better food choices lead to better sleep, and in return, a better you.