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9 reasons for not getting a good night's sleep

Last updated on: January 19, 2012 18:24 IST

9 reasons for not getting a good night's sleep

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Gud2Eat.com

Not an insomniac but yet can't sleep at night? Wonder what makes you keep awake? Here are nine reasons.

1. Simple sugar foods affects sleep

Sugar rich foods have candies, muffins, cakes, cookies, pies, have a stimulating effect and prevent you from sleeping well.

Sugar rich meals or snacks at night leads to a roller-coaster cycle of plummeting blood sugar followed by the release of stress hormones that will actually keep you awake.

Click here for Rediff Realtime News on sleep problems

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2. Evening cup of coffee may keep you awake

Foods or beverages that contain Caffeine tend to keep you alert and awake and so avoid a cup just before sleeping as caffeine reverses all processes that lead you to sleep.

Within 15 minutes of drinking a cup of coffee the adrenaline level of your blood rises that triggers an increase in heart rate, breathing rate, urinary output, and production of stomach acids.


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3. Energy drinks may keep you awake

Processed energy drinks are usually high in caffeine as well as the amino acid taurine, which boosts alertness and adrenaline.

Depending upon the of energy drink you drink, the combined high dosage of taurine and caffeine can make it hard to sleep well.


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4. Even big meals may affect your sleep

Avoid heavy, rich foods within 2 hours or less just before bed time. Rich fatty foods activate digestion, which may lead to night trips to the bathroom.

Studies show that fat rich foods cause a disruption in sleep cycles.


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5. Spicy foods may keep you awake

Even digestive issues affect sleep especially foods that cause acidity like acidic and spicy foods can cause reflux, heartburn, and other symptoms that interrupt sleep.


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6. Smoked meats may keep you awake

Avoid eating smoked meats like ham, bacon, sausages in the night as they contain amino acid tyramine, which triggers the brain to release norepinephrine, a brain stimulant that makes us feel alert and wired.

Processed foods contain certain chemicals that have been associated with sleep disorders.


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7. Difficult to sleep if you are on a protein rich diet

If you eat a high-protein meal without any carbohydrates you may have difficulty sleeping as most protein-rich foods also contain the amino acid, Tyrosine, which perks up the brain.

Take advantage of this biochemical quirk and choose a protein rich evening meal or carbohydrate rich evening meal to control whether you want to perk up or slow down your brain.


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8. Alcohol leads to disturbed sleep

People with sleep problems especially when stressed should avoid liquor, beer, wine, or any alcoholic drink.

Drinking alcohol mostly leads to frequent awakenings, less restful sleep, headache or just prevents you from deep rejuvenating stages of sleep. Alcohol dehydrates as well as makes you pee through night thus waking you up. Note that wine is high in the stimulant tyrosine as well.


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9. Smoking causes sleep troubles

Nicotine in cigarettes is a stimulant, which disrupts sleep plus smokers actually experience nicotine withdrawal as the night progresses, making it hard to sleep.


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