Coffee, tea, lots of energy drinks and soft drinks have caffeine in them. Caffeine keeps you awake by blocking your brain from receiving messages from a chemical (adenosine) it naturally produces to tell you that you are feeling sleepy. When you have insomnia, you want your brain to get the sleepiness message. While having a caffeinated drink to stay alert when you have insomnia seems like a clever idea, you are working against your body to use it’s natural ability to reset sleep cycles. Try cutting down to one caffeinated drink a day and have this by midday to give your body a chance to do its natural thing.
If I cut caffeine out of my diet, what can I have instead ?
You could choose to replace you coffee with a green tea. It has a smaller amount of caffeine and lots of other health benefits. Hot water with ½ a fresh lemon squeezed into it is a good morning detox and very refreshing. Some nutritionists suggest the pectin and sugar found in an apple eaten first thing in the morning can produce as much wakeful feeling as a morning coffee.
If alcohol helps you fall asleep quickly….why is it not my friend, when I have insomnia?
Alcohol has a depressant effect, so some people may find after a few drinks that they fall asleep quickly, but as soon as the alcohol wears off, sleep will become disturbed. The alcohol will cause dehydration and will cause the body to make adrenaline. These combined will cause a disturbed sleep and a sluggish feeling the next day.
What impact do sugary foods have during the day ?
Eating sugary foods during the day may seem like a great way to get fast energy, but will send you spiking up and crashing down. This could leave you feeling even more tired. It’s better to have slow release complex carbohydrate, such as foods containing wholegrains, pulses and vegetables. These will give you more even energy throughout the day.
What impact do sugary foods have at night ?
Avoid eating sugary treats in the evening, they may cause you to wake during the night. This is because they cause your blood sugar to rise suddenly and then drop away during the night. Complex carbohydrates eaten at dinner time will help maintain stable blood sugar levels through the night.
How late should I eat before bed ?
You don’t want to have a full stomach right before bed and have digestive activity keep you awake. But a small (non-sugary) snack about an hour and a half before bed can stop your blood sugar from crashing out and waking you in the night. By combining a carbohydrate food with a tryptophan containing food (at dinner time and for this snack) you are helping your body produce serotonin, which it will convert into melatonin (the hormone that helps us sleep).
Evening snacks containing carbohydrates and tryptophan are;
1. Cottage cheese and a few whole grain crackers
2. A small serving of salmon and brown rice
3. A bowl of oatmeal/porridge with almonds
4. Yogurt, fruit, and wheat germ or high fiber cereal
5. Peanut butter on ½ slice of whole grain toast
6. One egg and ½ a piece of whole grain toast
7. A few raw cashews, almonds, or other nuts and apple slices
8. Turkey slice on ½ slice of whole grain bread/crackers
9. Hummus and veggie sticks
10. Buy Ambien Online

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