Some of us decide to stop drinking caffeinated coffee long before bedtime because of the caffeine’s effects. About 10% of the American population suffers from insomnia, and some of that can surprisingly be caused by food. Below are 5 foods that may contribute to sleep problems:
- 1. Fatty Foods: Johns Hopkins researchers show that overweight or obese people who lose weight can improve sleeping problems like insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless sleep. The key ingredient is reduction in overall body fat which also helps to reduce over the counter sleep aid use.
- 2. Veggies: These are great for you, but be careful of what time of day you eat them. Eating raw broccoli or cauliflower too close to bedtime can cause stomach unrest and sleep problems. Closer to bedtime opt for a banana with tryptophan, magnesium, and potassium, which help improve sleep.
•3. Cured Meats: Bacon, pepperoni, and sausage contain high levels of tyramine, which is an amino acid that boosts the secretion of brain stimulants which can keep you up at night. On a side note, these meats are also linked to COPD (lung disease) and certain cancers.
•4. Sugar: Short-term sugar boosts from desserts like ice cream and candy can send your mind racing as you try to fall asleep, and may also contribute to nightmares.
•5. Chocolate: A common dessert food, dark chocolate can sometimes have as much caffeine as an energy drink! While good for your heart, it’s best to eat it earlier in the day. Trail mix is a better choice, especially since it contains nuts which have melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep.