Friday, October 9, 2009

5 Foods That Sabotage Your Sleep

1 of 5

Preserved and smoked meats

5095659CA91896053B9EE88735DA8If you're having trouble sleeping, what about a midnight snack? Think twice—here are five foods that can prevent you from getting a good night's rest:

Slap your hand away when it reaches to make a ham sandwich as an evening snack. Ham, bacon, sausages, and smoked meats contain high levels of the amino acid tyramine, which triggers the brain to release norepinephrine, a brain stimulant that makes us feel alert and wired.

 

 

2 of 5

Chocolate

42E6A6CB1856E150A0466C26416864Love an evening cup of cocoa? That sundae in front of the TV? Be careful of chocolate in all its disguises. Many people are increasingly sensitive to caffeine as they get older, and even the little chocolate chunks in chocolate chip ice cream could zap you just enough to prevent ZZZZs. Chocolate also contains tyrosine, a stimulating amino acid.

 

 

 

3 of 5

Energy drinks

6A69FC20C3A25081EC7CDD1E399826Red Bull and other energy drinks are high in caffeine as well as the amino acid taurine, which boosts alertness and adrenaline. Recent studies have shown that even if you drink energy drinks early in the day, the combined high dosage of taurine and caffeine can make it hard to sleep, or to sleep well, later on.

 

 

 

4 of 5

8FDC71AE8B18C11D1364D286815B1Tomato sauce, chili, pizza, and spicy foods

Digestive disturbances are a common source of sleep problems, but many people fail to make the connection. Acidic and spicy foods can cause reflux, heartburn, and other symptoms that interrupt sleep.

 

 

 

5 of 5

The nightcap

AC1EEF3D516D79480A376F17504FA drink or two may make you feel more relaxed after dinner, but it comes back to haunt you—literally—a few hours later, by preventing you from achieving deep sleep. And because alcohol both dehydrates you and makes you have to pee, it wakes you up, too. Wine is high in the stimulant tyrosine as well.

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