Trouble sleeping is a problem that generally increases as we age. A study from the National Sleep Foundation found that 39 percent of people aged 65 and older wake up a lot during the night.
To make matters worse, another study found that caloric intake increases by an average of 22 percent on the day after you don’t get enough sleep (four hours or less). But the foods you’re eating (or not eating) may also contribute to your sleep troubles.
Martine Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing would like to share five of the worst things to eat before sleep.
Caffeinated Drinks (Coffee & Soda)
This one should be the most obvious one! The stimulating effects from caffeine can last from anywhere from eight to 14 hours, so you need to be thinking about your sleep around eight hours before you plan to go to sleep. If you’re having a mid-afternoon cup of coffee and having trouble getting to sleep at night, you might want to cut-off your caffeine intake even earlier.
Dark chocolate is touted for its health benefits, so you may think it’s okay to snack on some before bed. However, dark chocolate contains caffeine; in fact, an average dark chocolate bar contains about as much caffeine as 4 ounces of coffee.
You might think of a glass of wine or liquor as a way to wind down before bed, and you may in fact fall asleep faster, but alcohol prevents the body from getting into an REM cycle, which is where restful sleep occurs.
Spicy foods usually will increase your metabolism, it can prevent your body from winding down when it’s ready to sleep. Hot foods can also raise your core temperature, which naturally cools at night, so this can cause you to wake up more during the night.
If you find that you didn’t drink enough water during the day, don’t try to make up for it at night. If you do, you’ll likely have to wake up during the night to use the bathroom. Experts suggest spreading out water intake during the day and taper off around three hours prior to bedtime.
To learn more about Martine Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing and all of the services they offer, visit https://martine-center.facilities.centershealthcare.org/.