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Food and drinks that affect sleep

19-05-2014

Food and drinks that affect sleep

The saying that you are what you eat is true in a number of ways. Most of us understand that it is true very literally, that the food we eat is used to build our body. Each cell is replaced at least once every seven years, meaning that the food you eat is not just important for fuelling your body, it is your body. However, there is more to the saying than that. If you really think about it, you are what you eat in another way as well.

Here goes. What you eat can impact your sleep and your sleep plays a part in your emotional and cognitive states. Many new studies have found that sleep is an essential part of who you are, people who do not sleep as are more likely to be emotionally unstable and struggle with a range of cognitive tasks. The food (and drink) that you consume plays quite a central role in your sleep, so if you join the dots you can see that you are what you eat because it affects your sleep and that effects who you are.

That means you need to closely monitor your food and drink intake. There are foods and drinks that really do not help at all. We want to help you to be the best you, so here are some food and drinks to avoid.

Caffeine: We figured we’d start with the most obvious. Caffeine, coffee, some teas and a range of energy drinks. They all contain this sometimes useful chemical. It is great in the morning but terrible at night. Even six hours before bed it will have an impact on your sleep so avoid it.

Booze: Booze, alcohol, devil’s juice, whatever you want to call it. We all know that it can help you to get to sleep, but the problems start about four or five hours later. Alcohol changes your sleep patterns, meaning that you will often wake in the middle of the night and struggle to get back to sleep so don’t drink it before bed.

Tomatoes: Yes, the tomato has recently been shown to impact sleep, for those with reflux issues at least. Yes a recent survey found that people with reflux were less likely to sleep well and any tomato based food, such as pastas, could have a big impact on the reflux so if you are prone to reflux avoid a heavy tomato dish at night.

Steak: We all love a good steak (well the meat eaters do), but you should avoid having steak too close to bed time as the body will struggle to digest this huge chunk of protein during the night and this can impact on your sleep.

Junk food: It is not really surprising that junk food is bad for your sleep, it is bad for you in every other way. The problem with junk food is that it is high in sugar and this can cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate during the night, which in turn affects your sleep.

If you want to be a better you then you need to watch what you eat and drink at night as they can have a big influence on your sleep which in turn has a big influence on you.


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