Amidst our super stressful lives, we give up on sleep almost easily. Most of the research surrounding sleep and diet indicates that less sleep can affect our food judgment and increase hunger pangs. Besides the obvious, your dinner decisions can also leave you wide-eyed. If you find it hard to switch-off at night, here are seven sleep stealers you should immediately break up with.
Chicken (Protein) Though protein should form an important part of our daily diet, too much of it may leave you sleep deprived. Chicken is high in protein, the consumption of which may interfere with your circadian rhythm (internal body clock) if eaten just before bed time.
Ice-Cream and Heavy Desserts A tub of ice-cream for dessert? Not such a good idea, maybe. Ice -cream contains lot of fats and is loaded with sugar. Avoid consuming it too close to bedtime, as your body won't have enough time to burn the fat and that can leave you restless.
Chocolate The bar of chocolate that you have been slyly noshing on maybe sabotaging your sleep. Milk chocolate contains tyrosine, which is converted into dopamine, a stimulant that will cause alertness and restlessness. Dark chocolate contains the highest quantity of caffeine more than milk or white chocolate and in some brands even more than a cup of coffee! It also contains theobromine, a compound known to increase heart-rate and cause sleeplessness.
Wine You've been wrong all this while, if you thought sipping some wine before bedtime can help you unwind. It may help you fall asleep sooner but you may later experience restlessness, headaches, sweating and worse, nightmares! Drinking wine just before going to sleep interferes with the sleep process and prevents your body from entering the deep stages of sleep (REM sleep), thus increasing your chances of feeling tired the next morning.
Spicy Foods Pungent food like chillies and mustard should be kept at bay as they raise your body temperature and make you restless. These may cause acid reflux that can leave you tossing and turning all night. Garlic is also known as the 'hot herb' and like spicy foods it can cause heartburn.
Aged Cheese Legend has it that cheese is linked to bad dreams. Aged cheese is a sneaky source of tyramine (a type of amino acid) which stimulates the brain and could keep you up all night. It may also cause migraine in some people. Stay away from Parmesan, Brie, Gouda, Cheddar and other hard cheeses.