A full stomach is not only hindering learning, it is also bad for swimming and, yes, sleeping. Our nutrition directly influences our sleep. Not only heavy foods for dinner or a too late dinner-time may lead to sleeping problems, spicy food as well. If you love strong and pungent spices better have them for lunch.
Australian biochemistry scientists of the University of Tasmania have noticed that spicy food has a negative effect on the sleep of their study-participants. In case that the test persons ate hot food like mustard or tabasco for dinner they suffered under problems to fall asleep and their sleep in total was lighter.
Hence, the conclusion is easy: if you wish a calm and good sleep, than better avoid spicy food in the evening. Spices are able to have a negative effect on our bed rest. Pungency stimulates our digestive tract and consequently is able to deprive us from sleep. Also, the thermal effect of spicy food has to be considered. Everyone who ever has tasted spicy Mexican or Indian food knows the side effect “inner heat”. Hot spices have a strongly heating effect on our body. Since our body tries to balance this “inner heat” and has to work at night instead of being able to relax, symptoms like internal unrest, problems to fall asleep and sleeping through problems will be enhanced.
Therefore, experts advice that especially people suffering under problems to fall asleep should avoid spicy food five hours before going to bed.
Following foodstuffs positively influence your sleep:
- Warm milk with honey supports falling asleep and has a calming effect on our body. It favors muscle relaxation and counteracts nervous tension.
- Almonds and cinnamon support melatonin production. Therefore add some almonds and cinnamon to your honey milk.
- A proper herbal mixture has astonishing effects. For centuries, the effectiveness of some plants has been known and are scientifically proven meanwhile. Melissa, valerian, hops, lavender, passion flower, St. John’s wort and kava-kava (piper methysticum) have a soporific and calming effect. Also, they stabilize mood and nerves.
- Foods with a high share of the amino acid tryptophan like avocado and banana create sleepiness.
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