That bedtime snack you grab could keep you up at night, so choose wisely. A light bite, such as pumpkin seeds or a slice of turkey breast, that contain tryptophan, are a good choice. This amino acid is converted into melatonin and serotonin and helps you slumber. However, some foods will disrupt your sleep by triggering heartburn, nightmares, and trips to the bathroom.
Here are some sleep-robbing culprits:
- Pizza. According to the Food Network, a slice of pizza that contains acidic tomato sauce may give you a stomachache and increase bathroom frequency. A study published in Frontiers in Psychology revealed that the cheese topping can also trigger bizarre and disturbing dreams.
- Coffee. While some people have no difficulty falling asleep after consuming caffeine, most of us should stop drinking coffee at least six hours before bedtime.
- Alcohol. Your favorite late-night cocktail may be the very thing that’s keeping you up and night, says CNET. An estimated 20 to 30% of people with insomnia regularly use alcohol to help them fall asleep but this habit can negatively affect your sleep cycle. “Unfortunately, alcohol never improves sleep,” says Dr. John Mendelson, clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “Although alcohol helps you relax, making falling asleep easier for some, three to four hours after falling asleep, people wake up and can’t get back to sleep.”
- Onions. According to The Sun, onions can play havoc with your digestive system by causing gas, which can send acid back up through your esophagus, especially when you are lying down.
- Spicy foods. These, too, can cause heartburn, and irritate your stomach which can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Sugary cereal. That late-night bowl of cereal may be tempting, but you are better off snacking on the high-fiber, low-sugar kind, says the Food Network. Sugary cereals digest so rapidly that they cause a spike in blood sugar levels that throws off your sleep hormones.
- Soda. Both the bubbles and potential for caffeine make sodas a poor bedtime choice. And if you drink regular and not diet soda, the sugar may be too stimulating, leading to poor or shallow sleep.
- Orange juice. The acid in OJ can cause sleep problems especially if you are prone to acid reflux or have a sensitive bladder. The experts at the Food Network suggest eating a piece of whole fruit instead so that your get both the fiber and carbohydrates to help you sleep.
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