If you don't get enough sleep at night, you might rely on caffeine to keep you awake during the day. Drinking a cup or two of coffee in the morning is fine, but if you're drinking more than that, you might want to cut back, especially if you're drinking a lot of that coffee in the afternoon.
Quitting the caffeine habit isn't easy or comfortable. Many people suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, drowsiness, flu-like feelings, irritability and lack of concentration when they give up caffeine cold turkey. You can avoid those symptoms by gradually withdrawing. Try blending decaffeinated coffee with regular coffee. Increase the amount of decaf over a few weeks time.
The relationship between your diet and sleep doesn't end with caffeine. Keep these tips in mind:
Avoid heavy or spicy foods. Or any foods you know that may cause heartburn, making it difficult for you to sleep at night.
Don't drink too much alcohol. Although alcohol may make you drowsie, over-consumption of your favorite adult beverages may cause a very restless uncomfortable night.
Eat cherries. Not only are they rich in vitamins, cherries contain melatonin, a substance also found in the human body that helps regulate sleep. Eating fresh or dried cherries before you go to bed at night may help you sleep better:
Enjoy a light bedtime snack. Choose carbohydrates and dairy products, like a small bowl of whole grain cereal and non-fat milk. Carbohydrates make it easier to fall asleep and dairy products contain tryptophan, which may also help. Other foods that contain tryptophan include bananas, oats, and honey.
Avoid eating excessive fats. People who eat a lot of fatty foods may also have more difficulty sleeping. Be sure to get enough omega-3 fatty acids each day, however, because eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA - one type of omega-3 found in fish, especially tuna, salmon and trout) has a role in sleep induction in your brain.
People who don't get enough sleep tend to overeat by adding extra sugary and carbohydrate-rich snacks to their diets. All the extra calories from the snacking can lead to obesity, so not only do the foods you eat affect how you sleep, but the amount of sleep you get also affects the foods you choose to eat.
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