If you’ve ever been exhausted but wide awake at 4 am, then you know that not getting enough sleep is the most frustrating feeling. More and more people today are facing the problem of sleeplessness – be it insomnia, disturbed sleep, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and the likes.
Going without a shut eye is agonising! What is does to you during your waking hours is even worse. You’ll find yourself snapping for little things, being unproductive at work and binging on wrong foods. You’re basically tired and angry and you can’t wait to go to bed, but as soon as you do, you’re wide awake.
One of the major reasons behind this is food. What you eat affects your sleep patterns, so pay close attention to these eating habits.
1. Lay Off the Spicy Food
As Indians we use a variety of spices in our cooking and while masalas truly enhance the flavours of our butter chicken and chaat, spicy foods are best avoided at night. That’s because they raise your core body temperature and can cause heartburn and indigestion, both of which are major factors that affect sleep quality.
2. Avoid Caffeinated & Sugary Drinks
Remember that coffee isn’t the only thing with caffeine. You may think that a hot cup of green tea is healthy (it is), but it also contains caffeine in small amounts. So if you’ve been having a hard time getting those z’s, avoid green tea right before bed.
Energy drinks like Red Bull (highly caffeinated) and Gatorade (extremely sugary) are big no-no’s. Consuming these before bed might make you restless and jittery. Also skip chocolate and mithai at night.
3. Alcohol Affects Your Sleep
A drink at the end of a long week may be just what you need to unwind. In fact, you might even believe that a few drinks help you go right to bed.
That may be true in the first half of the night, but alcohol is known to interfere with your REM cycle (stages of deep sleep), and will give you disturbed sleep. Moreover, you won’t wake up feeling rested the next morning.
4. Meal Timings & Meal Portions
Erratic meal timings can confuse your body, so stick to small, frequent meals that are well-balanced and nutritious.
In addition, watch the quantity of your meal. Eating too much might make you uncomfortable and cause indigestion, and eating too little will make you hungry halfway through the night.
Foods That Help Induce Sleep
(1) Bananas: They contain magnesium, tryptophan, and potassium, which have muscle relaxing properties.
(2) Warm Milk: This is an age-old remedy for sleeplessness in Indian households. Adding a pinch of haldi will do you good.
(3) Chamomile Tea: It has amazing soothing and calming properties that will rest your nerves. Herbal or non-caffeinated teas could help too.
Other than this, make sure you avoid strenuous exercise late in the day. Try to workout in the first half of the day so that your heart beat is not racing at night when you’re trying to sleep.
Let us know in the comments section if you have any other home remedies that you swear by.
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