Alaska Sleep Education Center

Seven Ways What You Eat Or Drink Affects How You Sleep

Posted by Mikkie Mills on Aug 6, 2020 1:30:00 AM

Woman hydrating after workout drinking water from a bottle

Your pattern of sleep dictates the way your day will go. At times, getting the right amount through the night can be a challenge and can leave you groggy and less than productive. Some factors that affect the way you rest at night are the items that you eat and drink while you are at work or at home. Here are a few things that can greatly affect your slumber and what you should do with them to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep.

Caffeine                                      

One of the primary culprits that affect your sleep is caffeine. This drug, which is found in coffee, tea, and many soft drinks is a stimulant that can keep you awake after bedtime. It is also known to produce adrenaline in your bloodstream which can make it difficult for you to get drowsy. If you are sensitive to this, you should limit how many drinks you consume that contain caffeine. You should also switch to water or other types of caffeine free beverages at least six hours before you go to bed. Eliminating caffeine can also help your heart and blood pressure and can calm your nervous system. If you have trouble sleeping, calculate how many caffeinated beverages you consume per day and when.

Taper Down On Meals

To get a good night sleep, start your morning out with a big meal then plan for your smaller one at night. This gives your body plenty of fuel to energize you throughout the day. If you feel hungry at the end of the day, you can supplement your diet with a small, low sugar snack or a thrive experience beverage. Make breakfast foods full of protein to keep you full through your morning and to keep you focused then move on to healthy snacks and meals with lean meats, fruits and vegetables. If you have an empty stomach when you go to bed, you might have trouble falling asleep. Something small and nutritious will fill you up enough to help you slumber.

Sugar

Cutting back on the sugar in your diet is better for your entire body as well as helps you sleep better. Adding additional sweetenersweetener to your diet will make your blood sugar spike which will momentarily increase your energy levels. This also means that your motivation will drop significantly when it runs out. This will cause you to search out for something else to boost you such as more sugar, a caffeinated beverage, or a nap if you are able. All these will make falling asleep at the end of the night an issue. Also reducing your sugar intake will allow you to lead a healthier lifestyle which will, in turn, help you rest at night and feel more peaceful when you settle into bed. If this is a concern for you, journal what you consume during the day then look at the nutritional information for each item. Calculate how much sugar is in each item then research ways to cut back on it in the future.

Alcohol Intake

While the effects of alcohol can help you relax, it is best to avoid consuming it right before you get ready for bed. If you want to have a drink or two, plan to do so earlier in the evening so it can work through your system before you fall asleep. It can help you relax and inhibit your brain functions which will help you doze off. However, it keeps you in the deep slumber that you should drift in and out of all night instead of experiencing at once at the beginning. The rest of your night will be in the lighter stage which leaves you feeling exhausted and lethargic the entire day. Your body needs the trade off of deep and light sleep throughout the night to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go. Alcohol also contains additional sugar which can affect the way to sleep as well.

Spicy Foods

This one particularly affects those who might have a sensitive stomach to foods that are spicy. If you consume this type of cuisine before getting into bed, you could suffer from acid reflux or an upset stomach. Your body is inclining which means the digestion can be more difficult and the spices can adversely affect your body. If you enjoy these types of foods, try to eat them at lunch or plan an early dinner so that they can pass through your body before you plan to sleep. Try to keep your suppers to healthier foods such as lean meats, whole grains, and vegetables. These digest much easier and burn clean through your metabolism, making it much easier to fall asleep.

Drink Water

Consuming water throughout the entire day can also help you sleep better at night. Staying hydrated keeps your body properly moisturized, including your throat and nasal passages. Having these properly lubricated prevents you from snoring which can disrupt your pattern, wake you up, or possibly cut off your breathing. It also limits the number of cramps that you get in the middle of the night that can startle you awake. It takes a while to work these free from your muscles and can keep you from dozing off again. Drinking water is part of a healthy diet that assists your body in functioning better which includes sleeping as well as feeling better overall. However, you will want to taper off your consumption a couple hours before your bedtime so that you will stay sleeping instead of waking periodically to use the bathroom.

Foods That Help You Sleep

If you are looking for a snack before bed, consider eating or drinking something that naturally helps you sleep. Berries contain melatonin, which is a supplement taken by some to help them doze off and stay asleep. You can also find it in any type of berry juice such as cherry juice. Turkey is a lean meat that burns through the metabolism well. It also has tryptophan, another element that makes you feel drowsy. A small turkey sandwich would fill you up for the night as well as provide an extra boost to fall asleep. A banana has serotonin, a substance that is required for a good night’s rest. Consuming these is a natural method to get your body ready for the night so you can sleep.

Getting the rest that you need at night can be a challenge, especially if you are under stress. This can also happen if you eat or drink something that can affect your sleep pattern. Planning your meals so that you eat more in the morning and less at night, consuming healthy foods, and staying well hydrated can help you fall asleep at night and stay that way until morning.

If you are suffering from any sleep disorder, including insomnia, call to speak with one of our board-certified sleep specialists today at Alaska Sleep Clinic. Also, click the link below to download our FREE e-book about insomnia.

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Topics: insomnia, food, diet

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