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It has been proven that sleep quality is closely linked to your diet.
If you're having trouble getting a deep, restful sleep, pay particular attention to what's on your plate, especially in the evening.
Dr. Katherine Hall, a sleep psychologist specializing in the treatment of insomnia, points out the foods that can prevent you from getting a good night's sleep.
Here are the 3 types of food to reconsider in your diet:
1. Spicy food
Spicy foods are one of the main causes of sleep disorders. The main culprit? Capsaicin, an ingredient found in hot and mild chillies and peppers.
According to Dr. Katherine Hall, digesting the spices often found in well-known dishes (curries and other hot dishes) can seriously disrupt our body's ability to thermoregulate. Capsaicin is the chemical in spicy food that raises body temperature. Add to this the energy our bodies need to digest the rest of the meal, and it can be really hard to get a good night's sleep, especially in hot weather!
2. Salty food
Salt abuse is the source of many problems. As a matter of fact, this ingredient can interfere with sleep, as it prevents the body from disconnecting and relaxing.
Once again, according to Dr. Katherine Hall, if falling asleep or staying asleep is a real challenge once you're snugly wrapped up in your sheets, salt could be at the root of the problem. She says that sodium-rich meals and snacks (potato chips, salted nuts, etc.) lead to water retention and increased blood pressure, preventing the body from drifting off into a deep sleep.
The sleep expert adds that this can lead to "shallow sleep", meaning you're not in deep sleep and it won't be restorative.
3. Acidic food
Acidic foods should be totally avoided if you're looking for deep, restful sleep.
According to Dr. Katherine Hall, if a person wants to get more shut-eye, it's best to avoid this type of food as much as possible. Tyramine, an amino acid normally perfectly complementary to all diets, helps stimulate natural brain activity. However, tyramine also stimulates the production of norepinephrine, which triggers the "fight or flight" response, and puts the body into a state of hyperarousal, which is contraindicated with deep sleep.
Tyramine-rich foods include meat, fish (especially marinated herring), and poultry. Vegetables include eggplants; fruits include tomatoes, bananas, figs, coconuts, avocados, and peanuts; soy and all its derivatives, brewer's yeast, red wine, and cheeses.
So perhaps herbal tea may be just the thing for your body before bedtime!