There are few things worse than spending a night staring at the ceiling, unable to drift off. Tossing and turning as the minutes tick by into hours, there are times when, try as you might, sleep is next to impossible. Sometimes it’s work related, and others it might be to do with a stress in your personal life. But, for a surprising number of us, insomnia has a lot to do with what we’re eating.
Often unbeknownst to us, the food we eat before we go to bed can have a dramatic impact on our sleep patterns. If you’re struggling to get a good night’s rest, it might be time to consider making a few tweaks to your bedtime ritual. Here are a few foods that will keep you awake at night.
In disastrous news for dessert lovers, it turns out that chocolate is a no-no for anyone wanting a long sleep. Though it is high in sugar, the real danger with chocolate is in the hidden quantities of caffeine that each bar contains. As a powerful stimulant, caffeine can prove a major obstacle to proper snoozing.
Even if you regularly pass out pissed on the sofa, alcohol is not the answer to drifting off quickly. Not only can the acid in drinks such as white wine cause chronic heartburn, but research has shown that those who drink heavily are more likely to wake up during the night and less likely to enter an REM sleep state.
Hot peppers are good for a great many things, but getting you off to sleep isn’t one of them. Not only are they another cause of heartburn, but they can also increase the body’s core temperature. Since the body naturally cools at night time, something that messes with that process can inadvertently play havoc with your sleep.
Another food that has a number of health benefits, peppermint is best avoided before bed, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. Despite being an effective antioxidant, peppermint is a leading cause of heartburn, which can in turn disrupt sleep. Whether you’re brewing it in tea or enjoying it as an after dinner mint, peppermint is best left in the packet.
Though they might form the bedrock of almost every delicious meal under the sun, onions are a problem for anyone who wants to head straight to bed after dinner. When eaten raw, red onions cause a buildup of gas in the stomach, which can in turn cause painful acid reflux. All the more reason to watch what goes into your salad bowl.
It might be one of the best ways to make a boring dinner absolutely irresistible, but ketchup is riddled with ingredients to keep you up at night. Not only is it highly acidic, and therefore a likely cause of lasting heartburn, but it is also full of sugar, meaning that even the smallest squirt can deliver an unsolicited spurt of energy.
7. Green Tea
It might be a darling of dieters all over the world, but matcha and green tea have their drawbacks. Not only does are the drinks relatively high in caffeine, but they also contain two other stimulants - theobromine and theophylline - both of which can keep you up long past your bedtime.
Compared to other activities, your diet might not have a massive impact on how well you’re able to sleep. But, if you find yourself struggling to get enough shut eye, despite being relatively sensible in every other area of your life, even the smallest change can help.