Quality sleep is one of the pillars of good health, along with physical activity, proper hydration, low stress and healthy eating habits. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night, certain foods you’re consuming might be to blame. These 6 foods can have an adverse affect on your sleep quality, and should be consumed well before bedtime if you’re a sensitive sleeper.
That’s right. That glass of wine so notorious for making you feel sleepy works to sabotage your precious REM time. Alcohol can lessen the duration and quality of REM sleep, which is the most restorative part of your night. This cycle is hugely important and can impact concentration the next day, so if you’re feeling groggy and foggy it may be time to lay off the wine.
Believe it or not, the high water content of celery — along with cucumbers and watermelon — can act as a natural diuretic and could lead to a full nighttime bladder. Any time you wake up mid-sleep sets you back a little, so it’s best to steer clear of eating celery by the stalks before bedtime lest you want to be interrupted by a full bladder at 3 a.m.
Fatty, fried foods.
These can unsettle the stomach, as they take a long time to digest which can cause abdominal discomfort. If your stomach is achy, relaxing and falling asleep is so much more difficult. When you do indulge in very fatty or fried meals, try to consume them at least 3 hours before you hit the sack.
Chocolate or hot cocoa.
If you are caffeine sensitive, the small amount of caffeine in chocolate could have you buzzing a little later than you’d prefer. Also, the sugar content in a lot of chocolate can cause a blood sugar spike. This kind of blood sugar activity can cause restless, disturbed sleep. Save the hot cocoa for a few hours before bedtime, or opt for herbal tea instead.
The body takes a long time digesting meat — especially something like a thick steak. If you eat a lot of meat too close to bedtime, your body will still be digesting while your eyelids are trying to drift off into dreamland. That means you can’t go full force into restorative sleep — your body has to multitask. This adds up to a less restful night.
Ah, that lovely combination of caffeine and sugar again! Having a soda too close to bedtime is detrimental to sleep. The sugar causes a blood sugar spike; the caffeine stimulates brain activity. Mix that with some alcohol and you can pretty much kiss your quality shut-eye goodbye.
Sleep is paramount to good health. If you’re having trouble keeping yourself in deep sleep throughout the night, try adjusting your pre-bedtime diet to improve your sleep quality. If you continue to have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor to discuss potential causes.
This post originally appeared on Care2.com.