Are you struggling to sleep? Your late-night snack might be the problem.
A report from Benenden Health recently revealed the top five foods that may be keeping you up at night.
“If you’ve tried every sleep remedy under the sun and you’re tired of struggling to sleep through the night, it could be because you’re eating the wrong foods before bed,” Benenden Health nurse practitioner Cheryl Lythgoe told the Huffington Post UK.
“You may love night-time snacks like chocolate, ice cream or crisps, but they could be just the thing stopping you from getting those all-important eight hours,” she said.
The experts at the health care company also noted that you should not eat too late but also not go to bed starving, monitor your portion sizes, and avoid caffeine and refined sugar too close to bedtime.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports every adult should be tucking themselves in for at least seven hours a night, but it appears that many Americans are not — and it might be due to these foods.
The sweet treat will likely not contribute to sweet dreams because it has high levels of caffeine.
“During the latter stages of sleep, caffeine consumption can cause rapid eye movement (REM) to occur more frequently, which is why you’re more likely to feel groggy the morning after the night before,” the report noted.
Certain cheeses and preserved meats, including bacon, ham and pepperoni, contain high levels of tyramine.
“Tyramine causes the adrenal gland to release the ‘fight or flight’ hormone, which increases alertness for a number of hours,” the experts explained.
Don’t eat that curry if you’re in a hurry to hit the hay, as curry and other spicy foods contain high levels of capsaicin.
“This chemical elevates body temperature by interfering with the body’s thermoregulation process, which, in turn, disrupts sleep. Add this to the high levels of energy required to digest the spices, and you can kiss goodbye to a deep sleep,” the report said.
Many people like to enjoy a scoop of ice cream at the end of their meal. Just make sure it’s not too close to bedtime.
“Sugary foods, such as ice cream and sweets, send blood sugar levels spiking at first, which then crash whilst you are asleep,” the researchers wrote.
“A crash in blood sugar alerts the adrenals that there is an emergency, which, in turn, increases cortisol levels, and wakes the body from slumber.”
An overconsumption of salt is known to dehydrate your body and increase water retention, which can cause tiredness and fatigue.
While this may seem helpful for a good night’s sleep, a study conducted by the European Society of Endocrinology found that salty snacks led to disrupted sleep.
Instead, the experts warned salty foods, including chips, should be avoided two to three hours before cuddling under the sheets.
Along with their list of forbidden foods, the researchers at Benenden Health explained that cherries, raw honey, bananas, turkey and almonds are great melatonin-promoting foods that can help improve your sleep.
Around the country, 70% of adults report they obtain insufficient sleep at least one night a month, while 11% report lackluster sleep every night, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association.
Sleep struggles can have detrimental effects on your physical and mental health.
Fortunately, California researchers believe they have devised a three-step formula to turn your sluggishness into a refreshed morning feeling.