We just had a full moon, so you may not be sleeping well at this time. But if you are unable to sleep more often, this may be due to other factors such as stress or artificial light, but also to nutrition. What you eat and drink has a lot of influence on your sleep!
Poor sleep or not being able to sleep can have a significant impact on your life. That is why it is useful to know what you can do to improve your sleep quality. You may have an eating habit that has been robbing you of your sleep all along.
Avoid these foods if you want to sleep well
Everyone knows that caffeine has a stimulating effect on your nervous system and can keep you awake. Avoid anything high in caffeine, including cola, energy drinks, coffee, and green or black tea in the evening. Are you sensitive to caffeine? Then drink your last cup of coffee before 2:00 pm, because then the caffeine has enough time to get out of your system before you go to bed. Do you like to drink a cup of coffee after dinner? Then you may want to give decaf a try!
You may fall asleep more easily after an alcoholic drink, but the sleep is less deep and effective, so you can wake up again. Alcohol also dehydrates and can give you a headache. A hangover can also make you stay in bed longer and that can negatively affect your sleep cycle.
Spicy foods can cause heartburn and lying can make it worse by allowing the acid to travel up the esophagus. This annoying feeling can make you unable to sleep. Spicy food can also cause a bloated stomach, and this is also not a pleasant feeling.
Saturated and trans fats, such as fried foods and fast food, can negatively affect sleep, especially when consumed at night before bed. Your digestive system slows down when you sleep and if it must digest heavy, fatty foods as well, this can keep you awake. Several studies show a relationship between saturated fats and sleep problems. In addition, these foods can lead to weight gain and research shows that overweight and obese people have more sleep problems.
Refined carbohydrates and sugars
All white flour and sugary products such as white bread, noodles, pasta, chips, candy, cookies and chocolate can keep you awake. Why? These are foods with a high glycemic index (GI) that cause spikes and dips in sugar levels. This prompts your body to release hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, and growth hormone, which can lead to symptoms such as anxiety, hunger, and irritability. You guessed it: this can affect sleep. Fluctuations in blood sugar can also make you feel sleepy (food coma or after dinner dip), but the changes in hormones can cause you to wake up later.
Food for a good night's sleep
The conclusion about what you do want to eat for a good night's sleep is somewhat obvious. Food and drinks without stimulating effects, for example herbal tea (chamomile, lavender or licorice). Also eat pure and unprocessed food as much as possible, such as vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains (bananas, kiwis, green leafy vegetables, almonds and walnuts). Try to opt for products in their original form and condition as much as possible and avoid processed products (more than five ingredients).
Time of eating
Not only what you know, but also when you eat is important for your sleep. Avoid heavy meals in the evening. If you eat heavily or a lot in the evening, your meal is not yet fully digested when you go to bed. Your body is still busy digesting and that can disrupt your sleep. Preferably don't eat a few hours before going to sleep. Going to sleep with a rumbling stomach isn't ideal either, so opt for a light and healthy snack if you're hungry, like a banana.