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Suffering From Insomnia? Make Sure To Avoid These Foods

Multiple factors play a role behind insomnia. Let us look at foods which can result in insomnia and which food you should go for curing insomnia.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. High caffeine content in food can result in insomnia
  2. High fat and high protein foods might cause insomnia as well
  3. Calcium rich foods can help in preventing insomnia

Facing difficulty falling asleep? Do you often wake up in the middle of the night and find it difficult to go back to sleep? You might be insomniac. Insomnia is a common problem inowadays. The number of people facing this disorder is increasing steadily. From medical to psychiatric conditions, there are multiple factors associated with insomnia. Unhealthy sleep patterns and certain biological factors can also be the reason behind insomnia. But ever wondered if your diet can cause insomnia? There are certain foods that promote good sleep, but there are certain foods which can do just the opposite. Let's have a look at foods which you should avoid to discourage insomnia.

Here are the foods which can promote insomnia:


1. Foods and drinks with caffeine content: Your coffee contains caffeine. The energy drinks you go for instant recharge are loaded with caffeine. These drinks are made for providing an instant kick to keep you away from the tired feeling. Drinking caffeine after lunch (and especially near bedtime) is not recommended, as it can interfere with your sleep (by keeping your mind overactive). Foods like dark chocolate should be avoided late in the day, as dark chocolate also contains caffeine.

2. Alcohol: Alcohol often disrupts your sleep and can distract you from entering the much needed deeper phases of sleep cycles.

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Alcohol does not promote good sleep
Photo Credit: iStock

3. Heavy meals before bedtime: Moderation is the key, when it comes to most things in life. Eating a heavy dinner before bed can result in sleep loss as well. This is because your body focuses on digestion. A light snack is recommended if you find yourself hungry before bedtime. Go for light snacks like chana, puffed rice.

4. Spicy foods: Eating spicy foods before bedtime can be a very bad idea. They can cause indigestion, acid reflux and heartburn. Heartburn can get worse while lying down as it allows the acids to slip into the oesophagus and burn the sensitive lining.

Also read: Lesser Than These Many Hours Of Sleep Can Affect Your Heart; Are You Sleeping Well?

5. High fat foods: High fat foods have been linked to poor sleep. This is because fat triggers the digestive processes. This results in a build-up of stomach acids, which can go into the oesophagus (while lying down), causing discomfort. A high fat diet also messes with orexin production, one of the neurotransmitters that helps regulate your sleep/wake cycle along with melatonin.

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High fat food is best avoided before bed time
Photo Credit: iStock

6. High protein foods: Protein rich foods can also disrupt your sleep when eaten before bedtime. Proteins are tougher for digestive system to break down. Eating protein rich meals near bedtime causes the body to spend more time working on digestion. As a result, the body is not able to focus on sleeping.

7. Foods with high water content: Celery and watermelon are natural diuretics which help push water through your system. Eating these types of foods, drinking anything too close to bedtime can result in sleep loss.

But you go for these foods as they can help you to cure insomnia:

1. Calcium: Yogurt, sardines, okra, broccoli, soya-beans contain calcium. This helps in production of melatonin.

2. Tryptophan: Seafoods (like shrimp, salmon), nuts and seeds (like pumpkin, sunflower, peanuts, almonds, walnuts), legumes (like kidney beans, chickpeas), fruits and vegetables (like apples, onions), grains (like rice, wheat) are rich in tryptophan. This amino acid converts into neurotransmitter serotonin after ingestion and later converts into the hormone melatonin.

3. Magnesium: This powerful mineral is a natural relaxant as it helps in deactivating adrenaline. Excellent sources include avocados, banana.

4. Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 also helps in converting tryptophan into melatonin. High sources of vitamin B6 include pistachio nuts, spinach.

5. Drinks: Many drinks contain essential minerals and vitamins that help you with sleep. Examples include warm milk, chamomile tea, almond milk.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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