The importance of getting a good night’s sleep cannot be stressed enough. Getting a good 8 hours worth of sleep through the night is crucial to not only feeling refreshed but also your health. Research has found that lack of sufficient REM sleep can not only affect your brain but your heart and other major organs as well. It can cause you to lose your edge at work while also putting you at serious risk of contracting a major illness because of your lower immunity.

Not surprisingly, sleep, or the lack thereof, is also associated with food. What you eat and when you eat it can impact your sleep cycle in a variety of ways. Here are some items that can seriously hamper your ability to sleep well:

Dark Chocolate

All of us crave for something sweet after dinner. But if you find yourself nibbling a dark chocolate bar right before bedtime be prepared to not get a decent night’s rest. Dark chocolate has a potent amount of caffeine which is basically the chemical that can keep you up at night. All chocolates, even those we call milk chocolates, contain caffeine and should simply not be consumed before bedtime. It is one thing to crave something sweet, but if it is going to keep you up at night you’ll be better off nibbling on a date or other fruits.

Spicy Food

A lot of us enjoy our spices. But it is important to note that the spicier your meal, the more your chances of indigestion. This can be a direct cause of increased restlessness when you sleep and in severe cases not allow you to sleep at all. Chilli peppers have a chemical in them known as capsaicin. This chemical can adversely affect your sleep by causing fluctuations in your body temperature.

Alcohol

A nightcap is something many of us prefer to help us relax before bed. This, while a common perception, is something that can hinder your sleep more than help it. While alcohol is a muscle relaxant it is also something that increases your slow-wave, or deep sleep, during the initial stages of the night but hinders it in the latter half. It is also important to note that the relaxation of muscles can cause one to snore while sleeping. Alcohol can also cause you to wake up during the night and leave you feeling restless during the day.

Fatty Foods

It is often said that having a big meal is the perfect aid for getting a decent night’s sleep. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Having a big meal full of fatty foods is anything but healthy for your body. Studies have revealed that eating more fatty foods can cause disrupted sleep and even increase your need to sleep during the day. So, the next time you feel like loading yourself up on burgers, fries and other junk food for dinner, think again. It might just leave you not being able to get the sleep you need.

There are a number of food items like coffee, ketchup, heavy proteins that can cause you to lose precious sleep. Ensure that you are eating at least 3 hours before bed to give your body enough time to process the food being ingested. Avoid any caffeinated drinks before bedtime. What you eat and drinks goes a long way in keeping you healthy and also in helping you get enough sleep.

Disclaimer: 

The information in this blog is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this blog is for general information purposes only.

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