Having trouble falling asleep?

Do you struggle with falling asleep? Do you toss and turn and wake up feeling tired?

Your eating habits may be to blame. When you indulge in a late-night meal or constant snacking – you make it harder for your body to fall asleep and it even affects your REM sleep cycles!

You have an internal clock (which regulates everything from sleep cycles to digestion) to blame for that.  Our ancestors used to hunt and feed during the day and rest at night. When you eat a full meal right before bedtime, your internal clock gets jumbled. Your digestive system starts to work at full power, while your brain is sending the body sleep signals. At this point your body is spreading out it’s resources to complete two important tasks simultaneously.

Here are some tips on how to fall asleep quicker and wake up more rested:

Don’t eat large meals right before bedtime

Finish your final meal of the day about three hours before you go to bed and include tryptophan rich foods, like turkey. After you eat, you elevate your resting heart rate and your metabolism goes into full force, which makes it difficult to fall asleep easily. Try to shy away from spicy foods, as they may cause heartburn later in the night.

Reduce alcohol

Alcohol affects your REM sleep cycles by reducing their longevity, this will make you have a lighter sleep and cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.

No caffeine in the afternoon

Caffeine can cause you to have a restless sleep and take a long time for the effects to wear off. Always remember, that not only soda’s, coffee and tea contain caffeine, but also foods that contain chocolate. The National Sleep Foundation reports that caffeine can have a lasting effect for up to 10-12 hours in some people.

If you are unable to get a nights rest even though you've tried to change your sleeping regimen and habits, then you should consult with your medical professional.

Author of the publication

Alexandra Bougrova
Alexandra Bougrova
Senior editor
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