Your Diet May Be Sabotaging Your Sleep

By Debra Rodzinak

A part of a healthy lifestyle is getting the right amount of sleep every night.  However, the National Sleep Foundation estimates that almost half of Americans don’t get the sleep they need and that what we are eating could be part of the problem.  Some foods can interfere with getting a good night’s sleep while other foods can actually help. 

Wine

Many of my friends drink a glass or two of wine before bed.  This may be leading to your sleep deprivation because, according to nutritionist Dawn Blatner, “Alcohol makes it harder to fall into a deep reparative sleep.”

Alcohol may make you sleepy and help you initially get to sleep, but the quality of that sleep is inferior.  When alcohol leaves the body, it actually becomes a stimulant and can disturb sleep during the night.  Instead of wine, drink water before bed.  

Late Dinners

Eating too late can affect sleep.  If the last meal of the day you eat is the biggest and is close to your bedtime, the digestion process is taking place while you are trying to sleep.   When the body is working on something else other than relaxing to sleep, it is not healthy.  Instead, try to eat smaller meals during the day and make dinner at least two full hours before bed.

Protein Powders

If you are drinking protein powder, be sure to read the label.  Many protein powders add vitamins and minerals.  Vitamin B is an energy booster and can rev up your body, making it hard to get to sleep.  Instead, switch from powder to nut butter in a smoothie, or include lean meat or fish with your dinner.

Coffee or Caffeine

The effects of coffee can last almost 12 hours.  That means that if you enjoy a latte or other caffeinated beverage after lunch, your sleep could be affected.  If you are desperate for an afternoon “pick-me-up” that contains caffeine, try green tea.  It has less caffeine than coffee.

Chocolate and Teas

Caffeine is not only in coffee, but in many desserts that contain chocolate.  Before reaching for that piece of chocolate cake or ice cream, consider cutting the caffeine for better sleep.  Caffeine can also be hidden in some flavored dessert teas and decaf coffee.  Instead, try a chamomile tea.

Water 

Many people don’t drink enough water, especially in the evening.  Too many midnight trips to the bathroom can have a negative impact on sleep.  Instead, try to stay hydrated all day.  If needed, set an alarm on your phone to remind you to drink water.  

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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