Do you struggle to sleep? Here are some Dietary Mistakes that May Be Keeping You Up at Night!
A reported 1.5 million Australians suffer from sleeping disorders, which means that we have a lot of tired and grumpy people showing up to work each day!
Sleep is incredibly important as it plays a vital role in good health and wellbeing. Getting a good nights sleep can help to protect your physical health, mental health, safety and of course your quality of life. It’s also incredibly important for brain function and for the choices we make the next day, such as having one less coffee so we can get a better sleep the next night, or stopping at that red light (safety).
Having trouble sleeping can happen for a number of reasons. Perhaps you worked too late and are over stimulated as a result, or your sleep cycle is out of balance or you are stressed. Another reason could be that you are making dietary mistakes that are leading you to stay up all night.
So if you are someone who struggles to get a good night sleep, here are a few dietary mistakes that you may be making!
It is a common myth that having a glass of wine before bed will help you fall asleep, but unfortunately consuming too much alcohol can actually prevent you from sleeping soundly as Alcohol deprives you of truly restful REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Furthermore its dehydrating effects will have you searching for a glass of water all night and waking up feeling dehydrated the next day, preventing you from having that fresh awake feeling that you should be getting.
Tomatoes are truly superfoods, but consuming a rich tomato-based sauce can actually keep you up at night because tomatoes contain tyramine. Tyramine causes the adrenal gland to release the neurotransmitter norepinephrine which is part of our brain’s ‘flight or flight’ mechanism. This can make you feel overstimulated and alert.
Did you know that some dark chocolate can contain as much caffeine as a strong black or can of red bull? The highest cacao strength will actually keep you up longer than a coffee will. Try swapping the chocolate bars for a handful of nuts. Walnuts contain the hormone melatonin which helps promote sleep!
Coffee and Tea:
This is an obvious one, but while many of us will stop drinking coffee a while before bedtime, did you know that the effect of that caffeine could last in your body for 8-10 hours or more?
So with that in mind, try to avoid having coffee or tea after 11am if you want to sleep from 9pm! I would also suggest avoiding decaf as a report has suggested that some decaf coffees can have as much as 20mgsof caffeine.
Anything High in Bad Fats
Think eating a heavy cheeseburger will make you tired enough to sleep? Think again!
Fat stimulates the production of acid in the stomach which may cause heartburn. Fatty foods also loosen the barrier between the stomach and the esophagus, making it easier for the acid to rise in all the wrong places.
I would never recommend that someone eat a salt laden- high fat diet anyway, but here is an example as to why this type of food can affect the quality of your sleep.
Nila is a nutritionist who is passionate about healthy food and living naturally. She believes that optimal health starts in the kitchen and she only uses the cleanest ingredients in her cooking.
Nila has recently launched Naked & Fresh, a new healthy and nutritious home delivery meal service that is created and cooked by her.
The idea behind it, other than for convenience, is home-made meals that are wholesome, contain unprocessed foods with no nasties such as additives, preservatives or sugar.
All produce is sourced by local ethical farmers and the menu has been designed to reflect seasonal changes.