Eating food containing tyramine, a brain-stimulating amino acid before going to bed can make it difficult for you to sleep. Such foods include ham, smoked meat, nuts, soy sauce, avocado, bacon, raspberries, red wine, sherry, port, tomatoes and aubergines. Aged varieties of cheese such as brie, stilton and camembert contain tyramine too, and are best avoided before bedtime. In addition, chocolate contains tyramine and caffeine, making it a healthy sleep-zone no-no.
Any large meal you consume just before going to bed is likely to decrease shuteye, as it gives your digestive system a great deal of work to do. You might suffer from indigestion or a restless night as a result.
Spicy food such as an Indian takeaway is likely to keep you awake, as it can result in heartburn and indigestion, leaving your system in an uncomfortable state that is less prone to sleepiness.
Stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine can keep you awake, which is why it’s best to avoid having a nightcap. While a drinking alcohol before you go to bed might seem to help you nod off, it’s likely to wake you up and result in a restless night later on. Likewise, coffee and other products containing caffeine can leave you feeling wide-awake when you would benefit from sleeping.
You might find that your system is more affected at certain times of your life than at others by the food you consume. If you are suffering from stress or depression, you might be drawn to stimulants that keep you awake, or comfort food such as chocolate. Thus, dealing with the cause of your anxiety can alter your eating habits and help you sleep.
Mindful exercises that help you focus and calm your thoughts can be helpful when you are going through a life crisis. Listening to relaxing music, exercising and being sure to deal with your basic needs is beneficial at such a time.
Stress can be a major contributing factor to insomnia and sleepless nights, resulting in you eating food that exacerbates the problem. However, dealing with emotional problems, and combining this with avoiding food that keeps you awake is likely to help you gain much-needed shuteye.