Watch Out! These 5 Foods Causes Insomnia



Do you often experience insomnia and difficulty in sleeping? It could be that the insomnia you suffer is caused by the foods you eat! Just as there are foods that can help you sleep quickly, there are also foods that could cause insomnia.

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. Insomnia is most often thought of as both a medical sign and a symptom that can accompany several sleep, medical, and psychiatric disorders characterized by a persistent difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep or sleep of poor quality. Insomnia is typically followed by functional impairment while awake. Insomnia can occur at any age, but it is particularly common in the elderly. Insomnia can be short term (up to three weeks) or long term (above 3–4 weeks); it can lead to memory problems,depression, irritability and an increased risk of heart disease and automobile related accidents.

People with insomnia have one or more of the following symptoms:

– Difficulty falling asleep
– Waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep
– Waking up too early in the morning
– Feeling tired upon waking

Cuses of insomnia

Common causes of insomnia include:

– Stress. Concerns about work, school, health or family can keep your mind active at night, making it difficult to sleep. Stressful life events — such as the death or illness of a loved one, divorce, or a job loss — may lead to insomnia.

– Anxiety. Everyday anxieties as well as more-serious anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, may disrupt your asleep. Worry about being able to go to sleep can make it harder to fall asleep.

– Depression. You might either sleep too much or have trouble sleeping if you’re depressed. Insomnia often occurs with other mental health disorders as well.

– Medical conditions. If you have chronic pain, breathing difficulties or a need to urinate frequently, you might develop insomnia. Examples of conditions linked with insomnia include arthritis, cancer, heart failure, lung disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), overactive thyroid, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

– Change in your environment or work schedule. Travel or working a late or early shift can disrupt your body’s circadian rhythms, making it difficult to sleep. Your circadian rhythms act as an internal clock, guiding such things as your sleep-wake cycle, metabolism and body temperature.

– Poor sleep habits. Poor sleep habits include an irregular sleep schedule, stimulating activities before bed, an uncomfortable sleep environment, and use of your bed for activities other than sleep or sex.

– Medications. Many prescription drugs can interfere with sleep, including some antidepressants, heart and blood pressure medications, allergy medications, stimulants (such as Ritalin), and corticosteroids. Many over-the-counter (OTC) medications — including some pain medication combinations, decongestants and weight-loss products — contain caffeine and other stimulants.

– Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. Coffee, tea, cola and other caffeine-containing drinks are well-known stimulants. Drinking coffee in the late afternoon and later can keep you from falling asleep at night. Nicotine in tobacco products is another stimulant that can cause insomnia. Alcohol is a sedative that may help you fall asleep, but it prevents deeper stages of sleep and often causes you to awaken in the middle of the night.

– Eating too much late in the evening. Having a light snack before bedtime is OK, but eating too much may cause you to feel physically uncomfortable while lying down, making it difficult to get to sleep. Many people also experience heartburn, a backflow of acid and food from the stomach into the esophagus after eating, which may keep you awake.

Diet effects sleep quality

It is known that our diet effects our sleep quality. A study published in the journal Appetite found big differences in the diets of people who slept the longest number of hours compared with those snoozing for the least.

Those who slept less than five hours drank less water, took in less vitamin C, had less selenium, which is found in nuts, meat and shellfish, but ate more green, leafy vegetables.

Longer sleep was associated with consuming more carbohydrates, less choline, which is found in eggs and fatty meats, and less chocolate and tea. Insomnia is even known to cause weight gain.

Foods that causes insomnia

Dietitian Shelly Redmond, RD, author of ‘Eat Well and Be Fabulous’ mentioned some foods that should be avoided if you want to sleep soundly, here are those foods as reported by Women’s Health Mag (05/11).

1. Caffeine
Everyone knows that caffeine can make people difficult to sleep. But caffeine is not only in soda or coffee. Some drinks such as tea or certain drugs also contain caffeine and can cause insomnia. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you should avoid drinks  or drugs containing caffeine, or at least consume them eight hours before bedtime.

2. Alcohol
Many argue that alcohol can help sleep. But actually it is not true. Alcohol does make you sleep, but gives a very low quality of sleep and you will often wake up at night. Alcohol will degrade the quality of REM sleep, so even if you do not fall asleep you will not feel better when you wake up.

3. Water
Water is needed by the body and can help maintain health or help you lose weight. But water is not a good friend to be consumed before bedtime. You will often wake up at night because you want to dispose water if you drink too much. It not only disrupt your sleep cycle, but also lowers the quality of sleep. Avoid consumption of water an hour to 90 minutes before bedtime.

4. Food fermentation
Fermented foods contain a substance called Tyramine. This substance can stimulate the brain and make it difficult to sleep. Some foods that are fermented are cheese, salami, smoked fish, and others.

5. Food from tomato
Tomatoes contain a lot of acid that can make the stomach uncomfortable at night. Therefore, avoid foods containing tomato or spicy foods to prevent it. If you want to eat foods containing tomatoes, consume them at least three hours before bedtime.

Those are some foods that should be avoided before bed if you do not want to experience insomnia. Eating the foods above can disrupt sleep hours and quality of your sleep. Insomnia some times can be very harmful for your health, it is even known that insomnia increase stroke risks in teenagers, so you better be more careful.

Information taken from various sources: mayoclinicmirrorwikipediawebmd.