Our late-night food options can negatively affect the quality of our slumber and contribute to a loss of sleep. Therefore, if we want to get a good night’s rest, there are certain foods we should avoid.
The following foods are either: acidic, fatty, spicy or difficult to digest. They may also contain high amounts of sugars or stimulants. It is best that we do not consume them right before going to bed.
- Cruciferous vegetables- Broccoli, kale cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables contain large amounts of insoluble fiber, making them difficult to digest. Complex sugars found in these food items can also contribute to bloating and gas.
- Red meat- Beef, lamb, veal and other types of red meat are all high in protein and fat which require our bodies to work harder during digestion. Our bodies will be focused more on breaking down these foods than sleeping.
- Cured meats and cheeses- Food such as prosciutto, salami or Gouda cheese contain tyramine an amino acid that can make us alert.
- Caffeinated food- Large amounts of caffeine can be found in dark chocolate, certain sodas or coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant that keeps us alert and remains in our system for hours.
- Spicy food- Chemicals in spicy foods can upset our stomachs, cause heartburn or raise our core body temperature, making us restless throughout the night. Therefore, think twice before using hot sauce or eating spicy cuisine before bed.
- Alcohol- Studies have shown that alcohol is disruptive to our sleep cycles. According to the National Sleep Foundation, alcohol “blocks REM sleep, which is often considered the most restorative type of sleep. With less REM sleep, you’re likely to wake up feeling groggy and unfocused.” Alcohol also suppresses breathing which can lead to sleep apnea.
A good night’s sleep is important to our health. Taking small steps such as being smart about the foods we consume can improve our quality of sleep, allowing us to be more energetic and productive when we are awake.
If you have questions about how diet or other lifestyle habits may affect your sleep, please call 718-206-5916 to speak with a sleep specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.