Over 10 percent of the population suffers from insufficient sleep, and insomnia can’t be easily treated with sleeping pills and prescription medication. Some of these individuals are suffering from chronic insomnia, while others are diagnosed with sleep apnea. Every year, millions of overweight and obese Americans are placed on a CPAP device even though weight loss is a known cure.
Modifying your lifestyle by exercising regularly, reducing stress naturally and eating better can help you catch a few more Zzz’s throughout the week.
Holistic Online suggests that food intolerance releases histamine in the brain which interferes with your ability to fall asleep naturally. The obvious culprits are caffeine, chocolate, and heavy meals, but several other foods can cause some severe sleep disturbances.
If you’ve been suffering from a bout of insomnia, make sure you’re not eating any of these seven foods:
Steak and other red meats – red meat is one of the hardest foods for the body to digest. All that extra effort requires waking time, so you’ll be better off eating lighter fare in the late evening. Enjoy your high-protein red meat entrée as early in the day as possible so your digestive system can rest easy by bedtime.
Cheap Chinese food – Chinese food laced with MSG can trigger some digestive problems, and people who are especially sensitive to MSG will find it very difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Avoid the thick, deep-fried, and oily Chinese entrees if you plan to hit the hay early.
Breakfast cereal – are you a fan of ‘brinner?’ Chowing down on high-carb cereal with a high sugar content will keep you up for longer than necessary and may even cause you to gain weight. If you need to have some cereal with milk before bed, make it a healthy one; Kashi, oatmeal or other healthier selections with low sugar content are your best bets.
Canned soup – it may be the Healthy Choice variety, but even the healthiest soups can wreak havoc on your sleeping patterns. Soups made with lots of salt, preservatives, and additives can trigger food allergies; these are often mild but will prevent you from falling asleep naturally. The high sodium content of canned soup can also interfere with sleep.
Spicy noodles or rice – loading up on Japanese noodles or spicy Indian food late into the night can cause digestive distress and keep your brain running on full power late into the evening. Enjoy your spice-induced endorphin rush earlier in the day if you want to get a good night’s rest.
Beans – the high fiber content of beans, lentils, and sprouts are great for the heart but won’t help you hit the pillow with ease. Eating beans late at night can tax the digestive system and leave you with indigestion or cramps.
Lean meat – if you’re following a low-carb diet religiously, chances are you’re loading up on lean protein for dinner. Bad idea. Lean protein can actually make you more alert and provide a boost of energy. Enjoy your high-protein meal for lunch and settle for healthy, easily-digestible carbs to induce sleep.
Insomnia can also be triggered by job loss or job changes, an uncomfortable sleeping environment, or be a side effect of depression. If you’ve eliminated these eight foods from your diet but are still experiencing sleepless nights, consult with a physician to trace the root of the problem.