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Sleep Saboteurs: Foods That Wreck Your Night's Rest

Recently a client mentioned that eating ice cream at 8pm made her bloated and constipated the next day, she didn't sleep well and felt even worse the next day. This is great self awareness, I reminded her.

The reality is, we often overlook the impact of our food choices on our sleep quality. What we eat before bedtime can significantly affect how well we sleep, and how we feel the next day.

Have you paid attention to trends in your own diet and lifestyle? Maybe start by paying attention tonight and the next few days. You may notice some trends that either support or sabotage your sleep.

Here are the 5 most common foods, that could be your top sleep sabotours. Read on to asses, if these could these be racking your sleep too?

1 Spicy Foods:

Spicy foods can be delicious, and nutritious. Active ingredient in peppers often used to add spice and heat to food is capsaicin, that can positively alter gut microbiome, but too much spice can also wreak havoc on your sleep.

The heat from spices can lead to indigestion and discomfort, making it challenging to fall asleep and keep you awake. If you can, try to avoid spicy meals close to bedtime to promote better sleep quality. Enjoy chips and fresh salsa earlier in the day, vs at night and asses if that makes a difference to your sleep quality.

2 Herbal Teas:

While herbal teas like chamomile and lavender are often touted for their relaxation benefits, some herbal teas can act as diuretics, causing increased trips to the restroom during the night. Granted herbal teas contain many health benefits, it's important to be mindful of how herbal teas affect your sleep patterns and opt for non-diuretic options before bedtime.

3 Fatty Foods

Indulging in a bowl of ice cream before bed may sound tempting, but high-fat foods can lead to digestive issues that disrupt your sleep, and send your gallbladder into overdrive. Consuming heavy, fatty meals close to bedtime can interfere with your body's ability to rest and rejuvenate during sleep. Choose lighter dessert before bed, like tart cherries, pistachios and other foods naturally high in melatonin.

4 Alcohol

Alcohol may initially make you feel drowsy, but it can disrupt your sleep cycle, leading to fragmented and less restorative sleep. Limiting alcohol consumption, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime, can improve the quality of your sleep. Opt for a different night cap, like a bath or a warm shower to help you unwind before bed time.

5 Caffeine

Caffeine, found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and some medications, can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. I remember during my business trips, people ordering espresso after dinner, and noting it doesn't impact their sleep, I always found this fascinating.

We're each bio-individually unique, so explore what works for you. Does an espresso before sleep impact your sleep, do you wake up more rested when you don't drink alcohol or when you skip ice cream after dinner. For me, what I found works, is an earlier dinner, followed by a relaxing bath, reading a book in bed and I sleep soundly.

Your diet and lifestyle choices play a crucial role in your sleep quality. Be mindful of the foods and substances you consume before bedtime, such as avoiding spicy foods, herbal teas, fatty foods like ice cream, excessive alcohol, and limiting caffeine intake. By promoting better sleep hygiene, you can wake up feeling refreshed and energized.

What have you found works best for you? Stick to that, eliminate whatever sabotages your precious sleep. You're the CEO of your own health.


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