What you eat can have a serious effect on your sleep. Have you ever tried dieting? The Atkins diet was very popular a few years back. The reason? It worked. Many people lost weight on the Atkins diet which was a very low carbohydrate diet that permitted foods like steak, bacon, fried eggs & hamburgers (minus the bun of course!)
“Wendy, what’s this got to do with sleep??” Well some people on the Atkins diet found they were unable to sleep well at night even if they had no previous sleep problems. This is because their carbohydrates were so restricted, their body couldn’t form serotonin and consequently their melatonin levels were almost non existent.
This can happen to you if you don’t eat carbs in the evenings. It’s best to have a high protein breakfast and lunch and have plenty of carbs like pasta and rice for dinner. Jasmin rice works particularly well for sleep onset (don’t ask me why!)
Foods that help us sleep are: dairy products such as cottage cheese, cheese and milk, soy products, seafood, poultry, whole grains, beans, rice, hummus, lentils, hazelnuts, peanuts, eggs, sesame and sunflower seeds.
Foods to avoid are foods that contain tyramine. Tyramine is an amino acid that causes the release of a brain stimulant called norepinephrine, that can keep you awake. This includes ham, bacon, sausages, cheese, aubergines, tomatoes, red wine, peppers, smoked meats, fish and, (sigh), chocolate.
What about drinks? Well everyone knows not to drink coffee and tea in the afternoons and evenings, but what about the oh-so-fashionable energy drinks? You know, like the ones that give you wings?
Well they can cause widespread insomnia, especially among young adults. Manufacturers of these so called “healthy” drinks are targeting our young folk with their advertising. Sleep deprived teenagers feel low in energy so they pop an energy drink to feel better. This gives their system such a jolt that they have difficulty dropping off to sleep and so the cycle continues…
These energy drinks contain high levels of both caffeine and taurine. Taurine is an amino acid that causes an alert state. These substances combined can cause high blood pressure, elevated heart rate and dehydration if you drink too much of them or drink them for a long time (and they’re pretty easy to become addicted to)
Add alcohol to the mix and you could have a medical problem on your hands. This is because you’re combining the energy drink which contains stimulants and alcohol which is a depressant. If you’re taking prescription medications at the same time, this could spell real trouble.
So don’t be fooled by the claims on the ads. You don’t need these drinks to feel energetic. All your getting are empty calories combined with a chemical cocktail which could lead to sleepless nights even if you consume them in the morning.
All we really need for energy is water, a balanced diet and enough rest.
Good news if you like the Native Remedies range of natural sleep products, they’re having a sale from 15-25% off the normal price for a short time. Click below for coupons…
Sleep Tonic, suitable for babies under 6 months sleep tonic
Serenite jnr for older babies and children baby and child sleep aid
Serenite plus for adult sleep problems for adult insomnia
PureCalm for stress relief and KiddieCalmer for children’s anxiety stress and anxiety relief!
Leg Calm for Restless legs relief for restless legs
Catch you next month, take care!