The ritual of the midnight snack is sacred, whether it be a bag of Cheetos or a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream. But, from snack time to bedtime, you find that sleep never comes.
You’ve tried it all. A sleep mask. Blackout curtains. Earplugs. Ambient sounds. Counting sheep.
If your sleep quality isn’t cutting it, it may be time to explore other causes.
Believe it or not, your diet may actually be the factor impacting your sleep. By re-evaluating what you eat, you may be putting yourself on a path for a healthier, more well-rested lifestyle.
Read on to find out how your diet impacts your sleep!
Eating Before Bed
Chronic dieters may claim that eating before bed may cause weight gain. While this myth is untrue, there is another reason that eating a large meal right before sleeping could be a bad choice.
Eating a large meal before you sleep can cause heartburn and indigestion. Because you are lying flat, your stomach acid may be prevented from lying down.
Therefore, heartburn and indigestion may be the culprit behind your poor sleep. This fact is especially true of spicy or particularly acidic food.
If you have a sensitive stomach, sticking to smaller, blander meals might have to be the way to go for now.
This seems obvious, but ingesting too much caffeine may leave you awake at night. While most of us aren’t chugging a cup of joe at 10 PM, your body may be more sensitive to caffeine than you thought.
Try reducing your overall caffeine intake or give yourself a cutoff time to see if that improves your sleep.
Bonus points: look for items in your diet high in caffeine that you may not have been aware of!
A glass of wine may sound like a treat if you’re stressed and tired. But, while alcohol may make you sleepy, science shows that it worsens the quality of your sleep.
Therefore, when you wake up, you may not feel as well-rested.
If a nightly drink is a habit, try to reduce your alcohol intake or limit it before sleeping to improve deep sleep.
While limiting certain beverages like coffee and alcohol may improve your sleep, there’s one drink that you should have more of. That’s water of course.
If you are dehydrated, you are more prone to snoring. Not only may this be unpleasant for your spouse, but it can also lead to poor sleep quality.
The final way that your nutrition may harm your sleep health is if you’re going to bed hungry.
As previously mentioned, eating right before bed may not be the best choice if you’re prone to heartburn, but you should make sure you are properly fueled throughout the day.
Eating a small snack or ensuring that you eat larger meals at the beginning of the day may be enough to hold hunger at bay.
Your Diet Matters
Ultimately, exhaustion will catch up to you. You need to get enough sleep to be able to keep up with all of life’s responsibilities and excitement.