Do you ever wonder if what you are eating is impacting your sleep? I routinely have patients who are having difficulty sleeping ask whether food might be playing a role in their inability to sleep well.
Difficulty sleeping is related to many factors including mental stress like anxiety and depression, as well as daily habits and behaviors, hormonal levels, medications and food choices.
If you have been dealing with sleeping problems consistently or have chronic insomnia (a disorder that makes it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep or both) it is a good idea to get in contact with a licensed naturopathic doctor or medical doctor for a visit.
These professionals can evaluate and help you address medical causes or mental conditions that are causing the insomnia.
Are there choices you can make about food that could help improve your sleep? There are a few hints that I can share with you that may help you get a better night’s sleep. After all there's nothing like a good night’s sleep, right?
Don’t drink alcohol before going to bed.
The May 2001 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that alcohol may actually cause more wakefulness and less restful sleep. The study found that participants had decreased sleep duration and woke up more during the night. It also found that women’s sleep was more often affected by alcohol than men's sleep.
Don’t get too caffeinated before bed.
If you are sensitive to coffee or caffeinated beverages it would be best to stop drinking them earlier in the day. If you drink them too close to bed you may find yourself awake because your body is not relaxed enough for sleep.
This means you should stop all caffeine by 2 or 3 p.m. You might be surprised to learn that you should stop that early in the day but if you get a good night’s sleep it will be worth it.
Don’t eat a meal late or just before going to sleep.
When you eat food late in the evening it can impact your ability to enjoy sleep appropriately.