A recent report by Benenden Health reveals that certain foods may be preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep. According to Cheryl Lythgoe, a nurse practitioner at Benenden Health, foods like chocolate, ice cream, and crisps could be interfering with your ability to get a full eight hours of sleep.
The report also highlights the importance of not eating too late or going to bed hungry. Portion sizes should also be monitored, and caffeine and refined sugar should be avoided too close to bedtime. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night. However, many Americans are not meeting this recommendation, and the consumption of these foods may be to blame.
Chocolate, a popular late-night snack, contains high levels of caffeine, which can make it difficult to fall into a deep sleep. The report explains that caffeine consumption during the latter stages of sleep can lead to increased rapid eye movement, causing grogginess the next morning.
Certain cheeses and preserved meats, such as bacon, ham, and pepperoni, contain high levels of tyramine, which can contribute to alertness and impact sleep quality. Tyramine causes the adrenal glands to release the “fight or flight” hormone, increasing alertness for several hours.
Spicy foods like curry, which contain high levels of capsaicin, can interfere with body temperature and disrupt sleep. Capsaicin elevates body temperature, disrupting the body’s thermoregulation process and making it difficult to achieve a deep sleep.
Sugary foods, including ice cream and sweets, can cause blood sugar levels to spike initially and then crash while you are asleep. A crash in blood sugar alerts the adrenal glands, increasing cortisol levels and waking the body from slumber.
While salty snacks may make you feel sleepy initially, they can actually lead to disrupted sleep. Overconsumption of salt can dehydrate the body and increase water retention, causing tiredness and fatigue. A study conducted by the European Society of Endocrinology found that salty snacks led to disrupted sleep.
In contrast, the report recommends cherries, raw honey, bananas, turkey, and almonds as great late-night snacks that promote melatonin production and improve sleep quality.
Insufficient sleep can have detrimental effects on both physical and mental health. Researchers in California have developed a three-step formula for boosting energy and achieving a refreshed morning feeling.