Trouble Sleeping? It could be your diet!Posted on Jun 27, 2012
By Dr. Mubina Jiwa
The rest of your day can be pretty difficult when you haven’t gotten enough sleep at night. It can be hard to concentrate, tough to get your work done and feel nearly impossible to get any exercise. If you go a few days (or even longer) without an adequate amount of sleep, it can start to seriously impact your quality of life. It can even make you sick.
Unfortunately, sometimes it can be tough to determine why you are not able to sleep at night. This is because difficulty sleeping is often caused by a number of different factors. These factors include your stress levels, the set-up in your bedroom and even your diet.
There are several ways that what you eat and drink can affect how well you can sleep at night.
Sugar and refined carbohydrates can elevate your blood glucose levels and keep you awake or wake when your blood sugar levels drop, wake you up in the night. For this reason it’s important to limit the amount of sugar and refined carbohydrates that you consume in a day. This is an important tip for general health as well.
Foods that are high in fat can also cause trouble when you are trying to sleep, especially if you eat them late at night. These foods can cause heartburn, indigestion and other issues that will make it uncomfortable for you to sleep. You may not even notice the effects, but they could still hinder your sleep.
Alcohol can cause you to have an unsettled sleep. While alcohol can sometimes make you feel tired or even put you to sleep, it’s important to note that this is not the kind of restful sleep you need to feel refreshed in the morning. Alcohol does not allow your body to enter REM sleep and it can also cause you to wake up during the night once your body is able to metabolize it. Stay awake from alcohol at night.
Caffeine can also disrupt your sleep. Caffeine can impact different people in different ways, but in general it keeps many people awake or causes sleep disruptions during the night. Limit caffeine intake in the afternoons and evenings, especially if you are very sensitive to it. Try to stop having caffeine after 3pm.
As always, a balanced diet and proper exercise are the best options. If you eat well and are active enough during the day, you’ll be able to get the seven-to-nine hours of sleep each night that most people need to feel refreshed.