So when you were the last time you had a full night’s sleep? Can’t remember? Do not worry, you are not the only one going through this short term memory loss when it comes to sleep times and schedules. Erratic sleep patterns have always wreaked havoc in the sleep conditions of people. This can either be attributed to some emotional or physical mayhem or maybe something more external like improper bed accessories or the wrong lifestyle with improper diet and no recreation.
Sometimes, the width of your queen bed may not be enough or your body is more inclined towards an organic mattress. You might favor wooden bed frames or you are more appreciative of metal bed frames, the choice is diverse and therefore impact the sleep lifestyle greatly.
Now let’s focus on the lifestyle factors, especially the diet which can hinder a perfectly restful REM sleep. Sleep experts and health gurus always suggest a good diet aid body perform better and sleep better. There are some super fruits like berries and antioxidants that keep the body light and reduce the feeling of heavy queasiness which can impair a sleep cycle.
However, most of us thanks to our fast-paced lives, opt for a quicker but unhealthier food option just to keep us going. If you want to mend your sleep pattern, these are the 5 things that you need to cut out of your diet if you want a good night’s sleep.
It is no surprise when you find yourself at your dinner table late in the evening. We get it. You are done with your day’s work, might pick up something on the way and by the time it is time for dinner, you are already late. Since you are going to eat at later hours, it is always better to choose something light and easily digestible instead of something like red meat that takes hours to digest. Eating something lighter will keep you full as well as keep it comfortable when you hit the sack.
Experts usually suggest leaving a window of 4 hours between a heavy meal and bedtime. If your food is causing some distress, have some yogurt, or green vegetables like cabbage which reduces stress and makes sleep more peaceful.
Caffeine is a natural steroid and what do steroids do? They improve your energy levels and turns you into a whizz of energy that needs time to be spent. Though a hot cuppa sounds like the perfect late-night companion, it is hazardous to your sleep pattern. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that blocks the sleep-inducing chemical adenosine for almost as long as 6 hours which hinders the quality of sleep cycle and makes you groggy and not to mention, leaves you with the intermittent sleep schedule.
Experts say that caffeine time should be limited and must be consumed hours before bedtime if necessary. There should be adherence to caffeine curfew.
A pint may sound wonderful after a stressful day at work but alcohol should be the furthest down the list if you are looking for a restful sleep to be and bushy-tailed the next morning.
Although known as a ‘harmless’ sedative, Alcohol is notorious to interrupt your REM sleep which can hamper your ability to make short term memories. Not to mention, too much of it can lead to the hangover the next day which can trail into the night as well and rupture your sleep time. Try to limit your intake of alcohol and that too on weekends to protect your sleep.
Satisfying your sweet tooth at night might feel like the need of the hour but sugar can elevate your blood sugar level and give an instant energy boost which can make you too ‘up in the mood’ to sleep and hinder your sleep patterns. This will delay your sleep and disrupt your sleep schedule, not to mention, also puts you at risk of obesity and diabetes.
If your sweet tooth has a mind of its own and you are unable to control, try for alternatives like wholegrain cereals with low sugar content to improve the presence of tryptophan in your blood. Why do you need tryptophan? It is an amino acid that the body uses to make sleep-inducing hormones of serotonin and melatonin. These are the calming neurotransmitters that slow down nerve traffic and calm your mind down. You can also grab the humble banana.
Are you the one who cannot gobble down without a hint of extra spice? Well, we have bad news for your sleep system. Spicy elements are known as spike body temperatures and reactions that can cause discomfort and rupture sleep. Too much spice is also not good for health as it can create irritation and inflammation which might upset your stomach or directly reach your head, giving you a severe migraine. Yet another facet that leads to the downfall of restful sleep.
Therefore, it is clear that our slumber heavily relies on what is on our plate. A good diet, combined with exercise and mental peace can go a long way in ensuring that we are as snug as a bug in a rug while asleep.
However, achieving this trifecta is a bit difficult for most. So in addition to being mindful of the aforementioned items in our diet, we can make certain lifestyle choices like the following:
- A regular workout: Working out releases oxytocins that keep your mood elevated and brain serenaded. This ensures that your body is tired enough (in a good way) and the mind is relaxed enough to drift off to sleep. You can also play soothing music or maybe indulge in physical intimacy with your partner before shutting down. You can find some soft large area rugs to create a better experience. The latter has more than one benefits though.
- Downsize on the screen time: Rays from your laptop and phones emit blue rays that can hamper your sleep pattern as they affect your circadian rhythm, tricking your brain and body into believing that it is day time and you have to work instead of sleeping. This is why it is suggested to keep your room dark and cozy during sleep.
- Do What You Enjoy Before Bed (Not the screens!): Pick up a book or listen to soothing music that can help you lull into a blissful slumber. However, make sure that you do not pick up a psychological thriller as it will activate your brain into full-throttle energy mode. The same thing with the music, choose a serenading melody instead of metal rock.