There are several types of food that we consume regularly. While consuming food, we always tend to consider or evaluate whether or not we should eat the food on qualities of the food such as taste and our desire to eat it. But food contains an exquisite mixture of complex chemicals that enter our bodies and each of these chemicals affects our bodies.
The food that you eat triggers complex chemical reactions within your body. These can affect your body in several ways. Here, we will only be looking at how certain types of food affect our ability to sleep. More specifically, we will be looking at the foods that we must avoid before bedtime to ensure a proper amount and quality of sleep at night.
1. SPICY FOOD:
We all enjoy eating spicy food now and then. The fine blend of flavors is what attracts us to such food. In the long term, eating spicy food every once in a while does not cause any harm to our bodies. In fact, eating spicy food has some great upsides, for instance, it can drastically help to burn fat in your body.
For the positives to be able to work out, you must maintain a significant gap between the time when you consume the spicy food and your bedtime. Generally, this gap is 4 to 5 hours and this helps the food to be digested to some extent. This will help to prevent some of the common problems which are caused to the quality of sleep by spicy foods.
One of the most common problems with spicy food is that they tend to trigger chemicals inside the body which help to increase energy levels. The last thing you need before going to bed is getting hyped up or feeling like you can run a marathon. Another problem associated with this is that spicy foods generally take longer to digest, therefore, this energy-releasing chemical reaction also continues for a much longer time.
All this energy comes at a greater cost to the body. Even if you decide to stay still or lie down in your bed, your internal body temperature will increase. This happens due to a common phenomenon that we are all used to, which is ”energy produces heat as a by-product.” The fluctuations in your body temperature will make it furthermore difficult for you to fall asleep.
The last way in which spicy food can affect your sleep is slightly specific towards one group of people, people with gastritis. If you have gastritis, eating spicy food will cause a sudden inflammation on the inner lining of your stomach which will cause abdominal pain. And this pain along with all the other factors will surely disrupt your much needed night’s sleep.
2. FATTY FOOD:
All types of fatty foods are harder to digest and therefore takes longer. If you eat fatty food too close to your bedtime then there is a high probability that your digestive system is still trying to process the food. This will make it much harder for you to fall asleep.
Even if you do manage to fall asleep, your digestive system will still keep functioning on a certain level to ensure that the fatty food is being digested. This will prevent you from achieving a deeper state of sleep. This deep sleep state is essential to us, especially due to the stressful environment of the modern lifestyles that we live. This deep sleep state helps to repair all the damage that your body has taken throughout the day, both internal and external. This state also helps to reinforce the knowledge that you acquired throughout the day so that the information is properly embedded into your brain
There is no way around this. This deep sleep state is important to you and to achieve this you must not consume any food that contains high amounts of fat at least 5-6 hours before bedtime.
3. ACIDIC FOODS:
Certain foods are acidic in nature, which means that they contain a pH level that is lower than 7. There are already a lot of digestive acids in your digestive system which helps to break down the food that we eat. This helps to speed up the digestion process and helps to run it smoothly.
Your body already produces enough acids for these processes, therefore, if you eat foods containing more acids then it disrupts the fine chemical balance in your body. This leads to serious consequences starting from heartburn all the way up to serious level gastritis. All this will cause issues with the number of hours of sleep that you can achieve and also significantly reduce the quality of sleep.
Some of the most common foods that we eat which are acidic in nature are onions, tomatoes, garlic, citrus fruit, etc. We should try to avoid eating these food items in great quantities, especially before bedtime.
4. HIGH PROTEIN:
Although it is suggested that eating small amounts of protein before bedtime can help with going to sleep easily. But, consuming a large number of foods that are high in protein can cause an uneasy feeling. This feeling generates since your body has to work harder to digest the high protein foods. Since the body is already working hard to digest food, it can not effectively work on preparing you for sleep. Therefore, it will take you much longer to fall asleep.
5. FOOD CONTAINING LIQUIDS:
There are certain types of food, mostly fruits, and vegetables which even though they are healthy for you, you should still try to avoid before your bedtime. Some fruits and vegetables contain a significant amount of water them and eating them before bedtime can make you want to go to the washroom in the middle of the night. This will end up disrupting your sleep and stop you from getting the much-needed rest you need.
Fruits such as watermelons and vegetables such as celery are foods that you should try to avoid roughly 2-3 hours before your bedtime.
6. SUGAR INTAKE:
Sugar enters your body and triggers a chemical reaction that releases energy in your body. This works similarly to caffeine works. It provides you with quick energy, and this leads to a lack of sleep. The sugar also causes restlessness at night and to some extent, prevents your body from reaching a deep sleep state.
Timing is one of the most important things when it comes to meals. If you can discipline yourself to eat your dinner at the same time every day of the week, your body will get used to that and will function accordingly. This will help your body become much more efficient at digesting the food that you consume. It is also a good practice to eat dinner at least 2-3 hours before going to bed. If you do end up feeling hungry again before bedtime then you can always just snack a little, but make sure you snack lightly.