If you’re worried about insomnia and food, Diane Atwood over at the Catching Health blog has a few things to say about foods that might be the culprit in keeping you awake at night. We all know about avoiding caffeine in coffee, but caffeine also appears in sodas (even light colored ones), dark chocolate and even some headache preparations. Trying to eat more fiber? Eating high fiber veggies like brocolli and cauliflower too close to bedtime might lead to digestive system upsets.
Her other insomnia and food notes:
- Soda contains caffeine and also, the bubbles may be irritating and could lead to reflux once you’ve stretched out and rested your head against the pillow.
- Spicy food can cause heartburn and also raise your core body temperature, which has been linked to a bad night’s sleep.
- Eat a high fiber vegetable like broccoli and cauliflower too close to bedtime and you may toss and turn as your digestive system works overtime trying to digest the fiber.
- Foods with a high water content — celery, cucumbers, watermelon, radishes — are natural diuretics, which means they make you pee, maybe all night long.
- A night-cap may make you drowsy enough to get to sleep, but it’s apt to wake you up several times during the night. Alcohol also robs you of REM or rapid eye movement sleep, which we need for concentration, memory and motor skills.
- Finally, a high fat meal may cause eight hours of indigestion and heartburn instead of eight hours of shuteye.
WHAT IF YOU’RE REALLY HUNGRY?
What can you eat if you’re hungry before bedtime? A small bowl of low-sugar cereal and low fat milk is filling but easy to digest.
In general, you should try not to eat too close to bedtime. If you give your body a few hours to digest dinner, you’ll be more able to relax AND sleep come bedtime.
Read the original Diane Atwood Catching Health post here.