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Foods That Steal Your Sleep August 24, 2016

Watchung, Somerset
Foods That Steal Your Sleep, Watchung, New Jersey

Foods That Steal Your Sleep

At some point or another, it happens to everyone: You can't sleep. When you finally drop off, the alarm buzzes a imagemicrosecond later. Then, you can't get up. And then, it gets worse: When you finally drag yourself out of bed, you look like you-know-what.

Can't imagine why the sleep gods had it in for you? Think about what you ate the night before, Any of the following -- much less a combo platter -- can leave your body on uneasy street for hours:

Spicy foods: Garlic, chilies, cayenne, and other intense spices are yummy going down, but they can keep you up with heartburn or indigestion. Avoid MSG too, as it can trigger dreams that are a bit too vivid.

A big dinner: An overtaxed digestive system takes hours to settle down, and there's nothing restful about that. When sleep's critical, make lunch your largest meal, and enjoy a light 500-calorie dinner early in the evening.

Raucous veggies: Eat those good-for-you-but-gassy-foods -- beans, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts -- in the middle of the day. A tankful of gas can keep anyone up at night.
Speed eating: Relax and enjoy meals to avoid swallowing air, another common cause of midnight tummy trouble.

Nightcaps: Alcohol may make you drowsy at first, but later on it disturbs sleep patterns and leads to awakenings and restlessness. A 4-ounce glass of wine with dinner won't hurt, as long as it's not within 2 hours of bedtime.

Coffee after breakfast: Caffeine can linger in your body for as long as 12 hours. So if you're often wide-eyed at bedtime, make sure you're caffeine-clean for at least 12 hours. (Skip tea, chocolate, cola, or other caffeine culprits, too.) Still watching the clock at 2 a.m.? Wean yourself off even morning java, then stay caffeine-free for 2 weeks. If you definitely sleep better, you have your answer: Caffeine is not your friend. If the results are mixed, "Try adding back a cup or two of coffee or tea in the morning and watch what happens, "But if sleeplessness comes back, cut it out."

Getting 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night doesn't just make your eyes bright, your skin happy, and your mind sharp, it can also make your feel as much as 3 years younger.

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