What You Eat May Be Sabotaging Your Sleep

When insomnia impacts one’s quality of life, then it is time to evaluate if regular activities of even dietary habits are causing this issue. The signs of insomnia vary, with some people experiencing sleep inhibition and loss on a daily basis. In some cases, one feels tired and anxious and not well-rested despite having enough hours of sleep.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognize insufficient sleep as a public health problem, noting that lack of sleep can potentially cause chronic diseases or even driving accidents. In their 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) study, the center noted that among the adults surveyed in 12 states, around 35.3 percent reported sleeping less than 7 hours at night. More disturbing, around 4.7 percent said they “nodded off or fell asleep while driving at least once, in the preceding month of the survey.” According to CDC, this study was the first to incorporate data on “drowsy driving and unintentionally falling asleep during the day.”

Eat the Right Food for More Zzzs

Dietary habits could be the cause of insomnia or sleep loss since some food and beverages have components that prevent sleep and induce wakefulness at night. One of the first things to check is the type of food and drinks that one takes on a daily basis. Eating right can help those with insomnia to get back on an ideal pattern again.

A lot of people know that caffeine and alcohol-based drinks can cause disruptions to one’s sleep schedule. So, curbing the intake of these types of beverages is also important in achieving a good night sleep. Taking too much liquid of any type after dinner can also cause sleep disruptions. Some types of food need more time to digest, such as fat and protein-based meals, so it is best to avoid or limit their intake. Certain types of food that can boost the production of melatonin, serotonin, and other sleep-friendly hormones should be prepared instead. These types of food induce relaxation and can be found in many vegetables and fruits such as cherries.

Avoid Sleep-Inhibiting Activities

Separating work from relaxation is essential to establishing a healthy sleep routine. Set a firm schedule so the body and mind can get accustomed to the new sleeping hours. Creating a relaxing mood in the bedroom also helps trigger sleep. So, television, as well as laptops and other gadgets, should be turned off when in the bedroom. Many people love to sit there and play online games on their phones and tablets well into the night while their partners sleep, but really this is just adversely affecting their own sleep patterns and should be avoided at all costs.

The National Institutes of Health also confirmed the ill effects of poor sleeping habits and continued sleep deprivation, emphasizing that less than 7 to 8 hours of sleep causes health risks to the individual. These risks include chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and even depression. According to the institute, school-aged children need at least 10 hours of sleep per night, while adults require less, at 7 to 8 hours. For teens, 9 to 10 hours of sleep is needed in order to fully rest and recover.

With this in mind, those who are constantly battling with insomnia and other sleep disorders should take the necessary steps to change their sleeping routine. This involves taking a closer look at one’s eating and daily living habits and making the ideal changes before long-term health effects set in.

Categories Health & Fitness