7 Surprising Foods That Are Damaging Your Sleep

But if you find yourself tossing and turning constantly at night, these foods aren’t the only ones to blame. Other foods you eat before bed can also disrupt your sleep, depending on how your body responds.

Many people are unaware, for example, that a large meal just before bedtime can be difficult to digest and cause heartburn and acid reflux. People with a more chronic form of acid reflux, known as gastrointestinal reflux, or GERD, may have more difficulty sleeping. Acid reflux occurs when the muscle at the bottom of the esophagus malfunctions and allows food from the stomach to come back up, and lying down after a heavy meal, as well as certain types of food, are known to aggravate this condition.

The WHO recommends that adults get at least seven hours of sleep per night for optimal health and well-being. And it’s not just about feeling tired and out of sorts, as chronic lack of sleep can lead to a host of chronic health issues, including high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, depression. and diabetes.

Given the impact sleep (or lack of sleep) has on your health and happiness, it’s worth exploring whether your diet might be interfering with your sleep. While everyone’s body (and digestive system) is different, and the foods that affect your sleep might not make a difference to someone else, the following foods are the most common culprits when it’s sleep. acts to disturb sleep. Pay attention to what you eat before bed and see if certain foods are preventing you from sleeping the way you want.

1 Pizza and over-processed dishes

If you feel physically uncomfortable after eating overly processed junk food, it certainly won’t help you sleep. Pizza has a double effect, as it is high in saturated fat and sodium. Foods high in saturated fat should be avoided in the evening, such as butter, ice cream, and fried foods like French fries. In fact, a small study in 26 normal-weight adults who usually slept between seven and nine hours a night found that high amounts of saturated fat consumed during the day led to lighter, “less restful” sleep. A single slice of cheese pizza contains nearly 5 grams of saturated fat. Plus, many ultra-processed foods are also salty, which might cause you to wake up during the night looking for something to drink. Just one slice of pepperoni pizza can provide up to a third of the sodium you need in a day.

2 Smoothies and desserts that are too sweet

We already know that excessive sugar consumption is linked to health problems such as diabetes, weight gain, high blood pressure and fatty liver disease, to name a few. It can also make it harder to sleep. You may know to avoid candy, donuts, pies, desserts, and sodas before bed, but do smoothies sound like a healthy snack to you? Research published in BMJ Open in March 2016 looked at drinks marketed to children in the UK, and found that packaged smoothie products on average contained even more sugar per serving (about two and a half teaspoons) than the juices. About 40% of the products tested contained almost 4 teaspoons of sugar. Sugar plays a role in many of our health issues, so it’s no surprise to see it featured on a list of foods to avoid at bedtime. For some people, sweets provide an energy spike that might lead them to count sheep instead of sawing logs. Additionally, refined sugars can cause rapid fluctuations in blood glucose levels, which can cause an adrenaline rush and make it difficult to fall asleep.
If you’re hungry before bed, it’s best to eat complex carbohydrates or protein, such as whole wheat toast or a banana with Greek yogurt. it is better to finish the meal with bananas before going to bed. They have high levels of potassium, magnesium and fiber. All of these nutrients have been found to help encourage healthy sleep.

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3 Cheese

It’s a cruel irony that the more delicious the cheese, the worse it can be in terms of impacting sleep. Although cheese protein provides tryptophan, an amino acid that research shows can promote relaxation and sleep, not all cheese is sleep-inducing. Strong or aged cheeses, such as cheddar, gruyere, and parmesan, contain high amounts of tyramine, an amino acid that increases heart rate.

4 Tomatoes

Even the humble tomato, despite its many health benefits, can be terrible for your sleep if ingested too close to bedtime. Acidic foods can irritate the stomach lining and raise acidic pH levels in the body, triggering indigestion, heartburn, and acid reflux, all of which can interfere with sleep. Despite their high content of vitamin C, iron and lycopene, tomatoes (including tomato-based foods such as juices and sauces) are considered very acidic and should be avoided if you are prone to heartburn. stomach. Avoid anything tomato-based: sauces, juices and, as mentioned, pizza.

5 Hot sauce

Acid reflux is most likely to happen during sleep, when we are lying down, and at that time a mixture of stomach acid and digesting food can back up into the esophagus. Many people find that eating spicy foods can cause this effect during the day, not to mention around bedtime, where the negative impact can be compounded. If you eat spicy foods for dinner, wait three hours before going to bed to avoid aggravating any potential acid reflux that may result from lying down. This allows digestion to occur and your stomach contents to move into your small intestine. This can prevent problems like heartburn at night and even insomnia. The same goes for spicy foods. A small study found that foods containing capsaicin, a compound responsible for the heat in spices, can interfere with sleep by raising body temperature.

6 Water

Despite the benefits of hydration, few things are as frustrating as the call of nature the moment you begin to drift off to sleep. This scenario is not uncommon if you tend to drink a lot of water just before bedtime, and it increases the likelihood of sleep disruption. Be aware that some natural diuretics also cause sleep disruption. These are parsley, ginger, dandelion, hawthorn and juniper. Prescribed diuretics should be taken earlier in the day.
Although many of us may unknowingly be tired, listless and irritable from mild dehydration, the time to replenish fluids is not before bedtime. Drinking too much can keep you awake at night due to the need to urinate often, which disrupts your rest.

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7 Alcohol

A sip of alcohol, a depressant, before bed may help you fall asleep faster, but it interferes with your sleep quality by reducing REM sleep and causing disturbances. Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to sleep apnea and heavy snoring. Alcohol disrupts breathing during sleep by relaxing the throat muscles. Alcohol can also reduce the brain’s ability to wake up and detect a lack of oxygen in the body, which can lead to longer and more frequent pauses in breathing. According to the results, alcohol does help healthy people fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly for a period of time, but it does reduce rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. And the more you drink before bed, the more pronounced these effects are.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace medical advice. []

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