Most of us know the importance of a good night’s sleep, yet many people still manage on less than 7 hours a night. This can have serious effects on our memory, productivity and mood, as well as an increased risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
It’s easy to fall into bad habits that fuel restless and broken sleep. Learn which habits to avoid and you increase your chances of a blissful solid night’s slumber.
Going to bed straight after a chicken tikka masala may be a recipe for sleeplessness. You might think it’s down to indigestion, but scientists in Australia found that spicy meals can cause elevated body temperatures during first sleep cycles, leading to poor sleep quality. Instead of a spicy feast, why not try a calming Fish Kedgeree instead.
An obvious candidate, but we still need reminding, A late night cuppa might seem a good idea but it could be keeping you from getting your recommended hours of sleep. Caffeine blocks the sleep-inducing chemical adenosine for up to six hours, so make your last tea or coffee mid-afternoon. Instead, try a tryptophan-rich cup of warm milk and a spoonful of honey to help you drift off in the evening.
Sometimes a plate full of beef stew can make you feel drowsy but your stomach will still be struggling to digest those protein-rich chunks of red meat during the night. Opt for a lighter evening meal to make you more comfortable during the night, such as this carbohydrate-packed Simple Autumn Root Veg Stew.
We all enjoy a sweet treat before bed, but high sugar foods before bed are likely to give you an energy boost just when you don’t want it. Wholewheat cereals are a good replacement to increase the amount of sleep-inducing tryptophan in your bloodstream. Ditch the chocolate biscuits and enjoy a bowl of Weetabix instead.
You might yearn for a glass or two of wine after a hard day but drinking alcohol before bed is linked to restless sleep. Studies show it can interrupt your circadian rhythm making you wake up earlier, block REM sleep and aggravate breathing problems. Enjoy herbal tea such as chamomile or lemon-balm instead.
I actually agree with the caffeine issue, but not with coffee - it's actually chocoalate that has kept me awake before. I had a large (200g) bar of dark chocolate and nut all to myself, (I know!!!) and just could not drop off later.
I would suggest apple and cheese before bed, no coffee after 4pm and listening to an audibook.This really helped me. Never had any problem with spicy food, personally,