Health

Avoid these foods for better sleep

How well you sleep affects your mood and productivity. If you often find yourself struggling to fall asleep, your diet may be to blame. Try ditching these foods before bedtime.

FATTY FOODS

Fats take a long time to digest, making the body work doubly hard to break down the food when it should be relaxing and getting ready for bed.

Eating fatty foods and sleeping right after often causes indigestion and bloating.

In the few hours before you sleep, steer clear of high-fat foods such as deep-fried snacks and ice cream, and even foods with healthy fats such as avocado.

ALCOHOL

Booze affects rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is said to be good for learning, memory and mood. A researcher at the London Sleep Centre said alcohol is disruptive to sleep, especially in the second half of the night - during deep sleep.

REM sleep is a cycle that happens several times, each time putting you into deeper sleep.

SUGARY FOODS

This will cause a spike in blood sugar levels that will come crashing just as fast. Instead of making you sleepy, lethargy and restlessness will set in, leading to a more disrupted sleep. Aim to have your treat at least three hours before bedtime.

WATER

Gulping down right before bed means frequent trips to the toilet. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day instead of waiting till the night to replenish your fluids.

CITRUS FRUITS

Citrus fruits are diuretic, causing you to urinate more often. Eating them can also cause indigestion or acid reflux, resulting in bloating, hiccups and burps.

You can opt for bananas, which have high levels of magnesium and potassium, electrolytes responsible for muscle relaxation, to help you sleep.

TEA

On top of the caffeine, stimulants such as theobromine and theophylline will raise heart rate and anxiety levels. Go for a cup of warm milk, which has tryptophan, an amino acid that induces sleep. Or opt for caffeine-free teas such as chamomile tea.

This article first appeared in Shape (www.shape.com.sg)

MEDICAL & HEALTH