Does this sleepless night look familiar to you? Source: Kimberly Zabata
- Spicy meals will raise your body temperature
- Dark chocolate contains caffeine
- Alcohol causes problems later
- Cured meat and cheese make a monstrous combo
- Water will make you pee-pee during the night
There is just something so irresistible about having supper before bed. Foods like spicy ramen, dark chocolate or a glass of red wine…oh, they make the best comfort food for my soul, especially after a stressful day at work.
However, it turns out that there are certain foods that we should avoid before going to sleep. As I was writing this article, my eyebags were definitely bigger than my eyes due to the foods I unintentionally consumed, which caused insomnia! Want to protect your precious sleeping time tonight? Read along and find out how.
1/ Spicy Food
A guilty pleasure we all desire for. Source: Brandon Baker
I think my heart just broke a little knowing that spicy food is a sleep disruptor. It is notorious for causing heartburns and acid reflux, which is the irritation you experience when acid creeps up your oesophagus.
Other than that, you may also notice your body temperature rising after consuming such meals before going off to bed. Now I understand why I had nightmares about chillies haunting me in my sleep yesterday. You really need to save that tempting spicy ramen for your lunchtime instead of supper.
2/ Dark Chocolate
Start nibbling on it if you’re thinking of counting sheep tonight. Source: Charisse Kenion
Yep, dark chocolate is also one of the sneaky imposters that causes your sleepless nights. I just learned that a quarter of caffeine from coffee could be found in dark chocolate too. That makes perfect sense since I feel so energetic after consuming it. Wait, there’s more! Amino acid is also present in dark chocolate, and it causes us to be more alert.
Hence dark chocolate is the perfect snack to nibble on during your office hours, and definitely not when you are going to hit the sack, that is, unless you plan to run through the embarrassing things you did seven years ago.
It’s comfy yet a little risky. Source: Adam Jaime
I know some of us would sip on a few glasses of red wine before going to bed, thinking that it is a sleep aid. Although it makes us fall asleep quicker, the decline in blood alcohol levels will later affect our sleep cycle, making us stay awake at night.
Shocking right? That is why health professionals advise people who are undergoing insomnia treatment to avoid alcohol consumption before bed. Switch to a glass of warm milk instead. While writing this article, I am already telling my parents to keep the alcoholic drinks in a good hiding spot. I am protecting my sleep quality at all costs!
4/ Cured Meat and Cheese
Avoid them like the plague! Source: ExpatGo
Whenever I don’t have time to cook, cured meat comes in handy as they are quick and easy to prepare for dinner. However, you should reconsider your choice to have that ham and cheese sandwich for dinner because they are the ultimate combo at spoiling your restful sleep.
Also known as processed meat, cured meat contains a high amount of sodium which causes fluid retention. You will consume more water when thirsty, resulting in you waking up frequently to go to the loo. Would you want to wake up the following day feeling all bloated? I think not! Not unlike spicy food, cheese causes heartburn and acid reflux if we go to bed after having them. Even worse, cheese is high in saturated fat, making it really hard to digest.
Craving that rich and flavourful chessy devil? You need to eat it four to six hours prior to your bedtime to have it completely digested. Let’s just keep the cured meat and cheese for our lunch or picnic dates.
Drinking is good for health, except before bedtime. Source: engine akyurt
Staying hydrated is essential, but you should avoid drinking too much water before going to sleep. It causes nocturia which affects your sleep cycle. You may be wondering what nocturia is, but it simply means that you will have an increased need to urinate at night!
Whenever I am sleep deprived the next day, my concentration at work and mood is just terrible! Prevention is always better than cure, so keep yourself hydrated throughout the day and avoid excessive drinking during the late evening. It’s time we break the toxic cycle of insomnia.
Ready to cut down on these foods?
I don’t know about you, but I am going to avoid those delicious yet spicy nachos to stay focused the next day. Among the food listed here, which one gave you the worst shock? Tell us! And also, let us know about your journey in combating insomnia.