Sleep is an essential part of healthy living. Despite this, many are not getting the recommended amounts of sleep they need in a day. It is an easily fore-go able activity for many in today’s hectic world. Apart from this, foods are another reason why some people do not get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep every day. They change their body’s internal chemistry, making it hard for sleep to ensue. The following are three such foods which should be avoided in order to get proper sleep.
1. Fatty foods
Foods high in fat like fatty meats, french fries, and similar oily and junk foods, upset the balance of orexin or hypocretin hormones. High levels of orexin leads to reduced quality and quantity of sleep, while low levels of orexin lead to increased quality and quantity of sleep. This imbalance also causes people to sleep more during the day than at night. This is why obese people who eat lots of fatty foods, sleep a lot during the day. Avoid fatty foods, especially close to your bedtime – at least two hours before you go to sleep.
2. Spicy foods
Spicy foods, just like fatty foods, should be avoided close to bedtime to ensure that you have a sound sleep. They are associated with increased acid production, which in turn leads to indigestion and intense stomach pain and discomfort, making it harder for you to fall asleep. Capsaicin, a compound contained in spices which is responsible for the burning sensation you feel, also reduces sleep, as the pain it produces makes it harder for you to fall asleep. It causes other kinds of pains also, such as heartburn, while raising the temperature of the body. For you to sleep, your body temperature needs to fall, not rise.
Foods that are high in fat and also high in proteins like steak, when eaten close to bedtime, are digested slowly, and hence can cause indigestion problems that as we have already seen, are not conducive to sound sleep. They also disrupt the circadian rhythm or internal clock of the body, making it harder to fall asleep. Steak and many other fatty foods rich in proteins have also shown to cause or contribute to sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea.
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