With the holiday season upon us, it might be a good idea to remember which foods can interfere with a good night’s rest.
As reported in an Oct. 18 MDLinx article, the following are some of the suspects that can sabotage your sleep:
• High-carb foods: A 1975 study published in the Lancet found that consuming a high-carb, low-fat diet led to less slow wave sleep, compared with a low-carb, high-fat diet or a balanced diet. All the diets tested had an equal number of calories.
• High-glycemic foods: Finishing a rich dessert might make you feel sleepy, but it doesn’t mean you’ll get a good night’s rest. Refined carbs are easily digested by the body, which can lead to surges in blood sugar and crashes that can keep you up.
• High-fat food: This isn’t limited to fried food. Healthy fats, such as avocado and fish, also can interrupt sleep, the article stated. One reason: high-fat foods activate digestion, which can lead to nighttime trips to the bathroom.
• Caffeine: Little surprise here. Caffeine increases heart rate and nervousness. And the effects linger. One study found that a moderate consumption of caffeine (400 mg) within six hours of bedtime can disrupt sleep.
• Alcohol: Researchers have studied the effects of alcohol on sleep since 1939. High intakes can interrupt REM sleep.
• Acidic foods: These can trigger indigestion, heartburn and acid reflux, which all interfere with sleep. Watch out for tomatoes, in particular. In addition to a high acid content, tomatoes contain tyramine, which triggers the brain to release a stimulant that increases brain activity.