Sleep is an essential part of our lives; getting enough sleep is not only important so that we feel refreshed and re-energised and able to keep up performance levels, but it is also important in terms of our health. A poor quality of sleep, just as with a lack of sleep, can lead to a deterioration in our health, as well as an inability for our bodies to heal itself. The reasons for this are that the body carries out various processes whilst we are asleep; these processes work in cycles and if the cycles are disrupted then they will not be completed properly, leading to a poor quality of sleep. Equally, if we don’t get enough sleep then the processes cannot be carried out as satisfactorily as our bodies require. Therefore, it is important that we get to sleep early enough and that we are able to maintain constant level of sleep which is of a high quality. There are certain foods that can affect our ability to get to sleep or attain this good quality of sleep, generally it is when they are eating shortly before we are going to bed – although, sometimes it isn’t even shortly before we go to bed, but several hours before.
One of the most commonly known food products that makes it difficult for us to sleep is obviously caffeine, this is why it is best not to drink coffee before you go to sleep. However, caffeine is one of those products that is best to be left alone several hours before you intend to go to bed, with recommendations having been made that you shouldn’t drink its after as early as two or 3 o’clock in the afternoon to allow the caffeine to escape your system. Coffee is not the only thing that contains caffeine, there are plenty of other beverages that also contain caffeine such as tea and plenty of soft drinks, especially energy drinks. It is advisable not to drink these before you go to bed as well, it is even advisable to not drink some of them at all.
Besides caffeine and the drinks that contain it, there are plenty of other food products that are best left alone shortly before you intend to go to bed; sugary food is often regarded as being detrimental to our chances of sleeping properly. As well as sugary products, foods that contain refined grains are also recommended against being eaten if you will shortly be trying to get to sleep. A common myth is that alcohol is good to you when you are trying to sleep, whilst it is true that helps you to get to sleep sometimes, it won’t necessarily help you to stay asleep as it often lightens your sleep as well as causing you to wake up earlier. Also, non-alcoholic beverages can cause you to wake up when should you have drank too much, so it’s best to try and keep any drinking, alcoholic or otherwise, to a minimum before you intend to go to bed.