What to Eat When You Can’t Sleep: Foods That Help and Foods to Avoid
Sleep quality is directly linked to our daily lives, making it one of the most crucial factors. As the saying goes, “Sleep is the best medicine,” if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, it can lead to fatigue and become the root cause of various illnesses. A good night’s sleep is one of the greatest blessings and the best medicine for maintaining good health. However, for those who suffer from sleep disorders, despite their best efforts to achieve a good night’s rest, it can be a source of distress. If you’ve tried various methods but still struggle with sleep disorders, why not seek help from your diet?
4 Foods That Don’t Help With Sleep
1. Spicy Food
Spicy food, which can raise body temperature, may stimulate metabolism and warm the body, but it doesn’t help with sleep. Increased body temperature activates the sympathetic nervous system, making it difficult to fall asleep. Our bodies can enter deep sleep when the body temperature drops by about 0.9 to 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit from the usual temperature. Therefore, rising body temperature can make it difficult to sleep soundly.
2. Eating Apples at Night
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but eating an apple in the evening could be a different story! Eating apples at night can interfere with sleep. While apples are low in calories and rich in vitamin C, calcium, and potassium, they also contain strong acidic components. These acidic components stimulate gastric acid secretion, and excessive gastric acid secretion can cause stomach discomfort, making it difficult to sleep. Apples, oranges, lemons, pineapples, and others with strong acidity should be avoided before sleep.
Cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables are among the leading causes of sleep disturbance. Typical cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, lettuce, and broccoli. These vegetables are rich in vitamins A and C and dietary fiber, but they take a long time to digest and can interfere with sleep. Foods rich in dietary fiber require continuous stomach movement, so it’s best not to eat too many cruciferous vegetables at dinner time.
4. High-Sugar Foods
Eating food high in sugar just before bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep. Foods high in sugar can lead to an imbalance in blood sugar levels, causing a sudden disruption in energy balance. Excessive sugar stimulates insulin secretion, and the confusion in the sleep rhythm caused by excessive insulin secretion makes it advisable to avoid sweet foods before sleep.
Foods That Help With Sleep
Bananas are rich in magnesium and potassium, which help to relax muscle tension and make the body comfortable and restful. They also contain a generous amount of tryptophan, which aids in synthesizing the sleep hormone melatonin and the so-called “happiness hormone” serotonin, helping maintain a healthy sleep cycle and relax the mind and body.
Cherries are known as the “diamonds of fruits” for their delicious taste and rich nutrients. They are especially rich in melatonin, which helps regulate the sleep cycle and can also help reduce the intensity of insomnia. They contain over six times the iron of strawberries and over 20 times that of apples, helping to prevent and alleviate anemia. They also contain the antioxidant anthocyanin, which helps prevent aging. If you have chronic insomnia, why not try eating cherries regularly?
Jujube not only promotes heart function but also facilitates blood circulation. It’s a helpful food for those who can’t sleep due to anxiety and nervousness. Jujubes can be eaten as they are, but they are also good when made into a warm tea.
Almonds are a food rich in magnesium. Magnesium helps to relax muscles and promote a comfortable sleep. However, as almonds are a type of nut, consuming too many before bed can lead to diarrhea or dehydration, so the key is to consume them in moderation!
It’s known that eating boiled pumpkin can help with insomnia. Pumpkin helps to shorten sleep latency, which is the stage before falling asleep, and enables you to sleep deeply. It refreshes you in the morning, so boiling or roasting it is good.
Have you ever heard that eating lettuce can make you sleepy? The reason is due to a component called lactucarium. If you break the stem of a lettuce leaf, you can see a white liquid flowing out, which is this component. It helps to stabilize the mind and body, reduce stress, and relieve pain, playing a beneficial role in insomnia. It is also rich in dietary fiber and vitamins A and C, known to improve the intestinal environment, relieve constipation, and be effective for skin beauty. It also has the effect of lowering cholesterol, so it is good to eat it with pork.
By. Shin Young Jeon