The Enemies of Sleep – Avoid These 5 Foods to Sleep BetterPick the Brain Hilary Thompson May 10, 2017 Tips 21 Can’t capture that elusive eight hours of sleep? Waking up in the middle of the night restless? It may be what you’re eating during the day that is stopping you. Here are seven things that may be robbing you of the sleep you need. And sleep is crucial for your well-being. Caffeine. This may be a no-brainer, but many are surprised by how soon they should stop drinking caffeinated beverages. It is suggested that you stop after lunch if you want to get a good night’s rest. Also, keep in mind that foods like chocolate also contain caffeine. High Fat Foods. These have been linked to poor quality of sleep. Fat triggers the build up of stomach acids that, when lying down, can cause uncomfortable acid reflux. A high fat diet also interferes with the production of orexin, one of the neurotransmitters that helps regulate your sleep/wake cycle along with melatonin. Water. If you want to avoid middle-of-the night bathroom trips, it is good to refrain from drinking too much water late at night. Keep in mind that some foods like watermelon, tea, parsley and even decaffeinated coffee contain diuretics that push more water through your system as well. Alcohol. Alcohol may help you to fall asleep faster but you are most likely to wake in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep. It also interferes with REM sleep, the restorative part of the sleep cycle. This can cause you to wake feeling as if you haven’t rested at all. Aim for one glass of wine with dinner, several hours before you go to bed. Moderation will save your sleep quality. Spicy Foods. Some like it hot – but it isn’t good for sleep. Spicy foods eaten close to bedtime are surefire way to suffer from heartburn when you lay down. Stomach acids can creep up into the esophagus when you are in a prone position, which can lead to painful discomfort during sleep. If you like spicy, eat it for lunch so your stomach has time to settle. If you have avoided all these on my list and are still struggling to get a good night’s sleep, it may be time to look at what you are sleeping on. Sometimes simply upgrading your mattress (say, adding a tempurpedic topper) or getting a new one when your mattress is old will help a lot. If you have tried everything, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. Contact your local sleep clinic for a possible sleep study. Sleep is crucial to our well-being and sometimes professional help may be needed.