Insomnia can be a terrible burden. Lack of sleep can leave you exhausted in the morning, unable to think clearly, and feeling irritable and impatient. It can even affect normal activities such as driving. Some specialists estimate that missing the REM cycle of sleep is the equivalent of having two drinks. For those determined to tame insomnia, here are a few useful dieting tips.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Many doctors suggest turning the old adage “it is too early in the morning for a drink” into “it is too late in the evening.” Many people love to unwind in the evening with a relaxing beverage, but unfortunately, the alcohol content affects sleep. It is easy to see the effect when a social gathering or other situation leads to overindulgence. Often, a sleepless night follows.
This tip is not intuitive. There was a time when NyQuil contained alcohol, and parents would give it to children to help them sleep. Although it is true that a little alcohol can sometimes help you feel drowsy, there is a point where it actually makes the problem worse. In particular, alcohol can suppress the final REM sleep stage when the greatest recuperation occurs. In short, a good strategy is to make sure you have that final drink a few hours before you intend to sleep, if at all.
Watch Caffeine Intake
Many people use coffee or other caffeinated drinks to wake themselves up in the morning and keep themselves sharp during the day. It should come as no surprise that the opposite should happen in the evening. Doctors set a cutoff time for caffeine at 4 p.m. Some experts recommend that 2 p.m. is an even better time to stop. It is important to remember that coffee and tea are not the only major sources of caffeine. Soda and chocolate are also big sources. It may surprise some people to learn that a 1 ounce piece of dark chocolate has the equivalent caffeine as a quarter cup of coffee.
Use these two tips in conjunction with an overall healthy diet, and see if you have much more control over sleepless nights.