World Sleep Day 2023: A good night’s sleep is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. Sleep recharges our brains and bodies. When our system rests, it heals and grows stronger. Sleep deprivation is linked with a wide variety of problems, ranging from headaches to heart disease. External aspects like the type of bed, lighting, surroundings, and temperature play a role in allowing you to sleep well. However, physiological aspects like diet are also important. Certain foods and drinks can make it difficult for you to sleep properly. Sometimes, we don’t even realise this issue, and instead, blame our insomnia on other reasons. Wondering which foods should not be eaten before bedtime? Find out below.
Also read: Sleep Deprived? 8 Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore at All
Here are 5 foods you must avoid to get a good night’s sleep:
This veggie can inhibit your sleep due to two reasons. Firstly, it contains tyramine, an amino acid that is said to stimulate brain activity and will keep you awake. (Certain types of cheese also contain tyramine, and hence should be avoided.) Secondly, tomatoes are acidic in nature. Consuming them just before bed can cause indigestion and acidity. This is also why you must avoid other citrus foods like oranges before sleeping.
2. White bread
White bread contains a lot of refined carbohydrates and has a high glycemic index. Research has shown that such foods could be linked with a higher risk of insomnia. High GI foods cause blood sugar levels to spike rapidly. This could affect your ability to sleep peacefully. It may also cause inflammation, thus hampering your sleep quality.
3. Spicy foods
Spicy foods may lead to an increase in body temperature, which can negatively affect sleep. Certain spicy foods can cause acid reflux and other gut issues. Any form of indigestion is bound to lead to a restless night. This is also why you should avoid junk or processed foods before sleeping. Such dishes are not easy on your stomach and may cause an imbalance in pH levels. These foods may not only affect your night but also your morning. You may wake up to feelings of heartburn.
4. Ice cream
Unfortunately, you should not be having a bowl of ice cream after dinner or as a midnight binge. Ice cream is high in fats and sugar, both of which hamper your sleep. Foods that contain a lot of fats are believed to keep you awake, as your body requires more time to digest it properly. Foods high in sugar have been associated with insomnia. They also affect insulin levels, which may lead to disturbed sleep.
Also read: Healthy Foods: 5 Foods That May Help You Sleep Better
You also should avoid chocolatey desserts before bedtime. Certain types of chocolate contain tyrosine, which can keep you alert. Dark chocolate contains theobromine, a compound known to increase heart rate. This can also affect your ability to fall asleep. Its caffeine content may also lead to a restless night. Packaged chocolates are also high in sugar. As discussed earlier, such items can disturb your system and reduce your chances of getting a good night’s sleep. So what should you be eating instead? Almonds are one great option. Their melatonin content can make you feel drowsy and thus help you drift off to sleep. Wondering which other foods can help you sleep better? Check out the full list here. Did you know that certain spices can also help induce sleep? Click here to know more.
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)
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