Sleep is one of the most important body functions we have. During sleep, our body restores, resets, and repairs. Getting an adequate amount of sleep is key to living a healthy lifestyle. Not only does it allow your body to conduct crucial functions, it helps your mind, mood, and weight as well.
Scientists suggest making a sleep schedule and sticking to it, in order to ensure quality sleep each night. This means sticking to your bedtime, even on the weekends. But of course, that’s easier said than done. And new research suggests some foods could be messing with your nightly zzz’s.
Nutritionists have researched how late-night snacking interferes with your quality of sleep. Particularly, how these late-night snacks can be derailing your sleep health.
Sugar-filled treats. Sugary treats such as candy, ice cream, and chocolate delay the release of melatonin in your body. Melatonin manages your sleep-wake cycle, so when it gets out of whack, so does your quality of sleep.
Caffeine. This one could probably go without saying, but we’ll say it anyways. Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors, the chemical responsible for making you feel sleepy. No sleepy feeling chemicals to your brains means your brain stays feeling awake.
High sodium foods. Everyone’s favorite – high sodium foods, such as French fries, burritos, and Asian food wreak havoc on your hydration levels. Dehydration is what causes you to wake up in the middle of the night feeling like you could drink a pool.
Heart-burn causers. Onions, garlic, and hot sauce are common heart-burn causers, especially in those prone to acid-reflux. Eating these foods before lying down can irritate the esophagus, causing you to experience pain and gas.
Alcohol. This one may be surprising to some, as having a drink before bed is a common American past-time. While alcohol may induce sleep, it doesn’t keep you asleep. This is due to alcohol altering the production of chemicals while you’re asleep. This interferes with REM, causing you to miss out on the deep, restorative sleep our bodies need.