You don’t have to be a nutritionist to know that the caffeine in your coffee could interfere with your Z’s, but other foods and drinks could also be preventing you from getting the rest you need — and unfortunately, they’re often the ones you enjoy the most.
Heavy foods — those calorific, cream-based meals that are so good that you literally cannot put your fork down until your plate is clean —won’t soothe you to sleep. The fats in those meals that make them so irresistible give your digestive system a workout just when you want your body to relax.
We know that Sriracha is the condiment of 2013, but is it really worth the pain to be food trendy? Spicy foods can aggravate the digestive tract and cause heartburn, causing you to toss and turn at night. Some studies even say that taking the spice out of your night could prevent nightmares, which is helpful for those of us that find ourselves stuck in a pile of snakes or having our high school lunch money stolen all over again.
Unfortunately, your Chinese takeout, too, could also be keeping you awake at night. One study found an association between MSG intake and sleep-disordered breathing among Chinese adults with normal body weight. And while the jury is still out on many of MSG’s purported health effects, many believe it has the ability to cause restlessness or excitability in people with an MSG sensitivity.
Most people worry about the short-term consequences of giving children sugar: that they’ll get “milkshake drunk” and start bouncing off the walls, possibly destroying everything in their path. The truth is that this theory lacks substantial scientific evidence to back it up. Refined sugars will produce rapid fluctuations in blood-glucose levels, according to Livestrong, but hyperactivity hasn’t been definitively linked to the sweet stuff.
However, if you have diabetes, consuming too much sugar can spike blood-sugar levels and cause sleep loss. The kidneys try to rid the body of the sugar by urinating — which means lots of late-night bathroom visits.
As you look back on the last time you had two many glasses of wine and conked out on the couch, you might think alcohol helps you fall asleep. And you’d be right. But it actually interferes with your sleep cycle, making it difficult for you to stay asleep and sleep well.