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Foods That Prevent Sleeping
We’ve talked before about foods that can help you sleep in my podcasts.
Today, I want to talk about foods and eating habits that can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. There are all kinds of processes in the body that occur when we eat certain foods or drink certain beverages that can prevent that good, deep, healing sleep we all need.
Number 1: Snacking
If you snack, no matter what kind of food you’re snacking on, even if it’s low-cal, low-fat, or low anything, you trigger insulin. In fact, anything you put in your mouth triggers insulin, even if it’s a Lifesaver.
This is why this whole idea of six small meals is not a good idea. In fact, it’s completely wrong-headed because eating all day means you’re jacking up that insulin all the time, and you’re going to develop insulin resistance.
That will lead to a pre-diabetes situation.
The problem with jacking up your insulin is it will give you frequent urination at night. You’ll have to be getting up to go to the bathroom all the time, preventing you from getting good, deep sleep.
Another thing snacking does, especially at night does, is to lead to sleep apnea. You don’t want to acquire a sleep apnea problem because that will swell the passages in the sinuses, and apnea can also lead to diabetes and insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is something we can actually correct if we don’t snack too frequently.
Every time you eat sugar, it triggers insulin, which leads to an excess of insulin spikes that can also create insulin resistance. Plus, having too much sugar leads to the depletion of potassium, the normal relaxer.
There are times in my past that I ate so much sugar that I was up all night long with my heart just pounding. That’s because I didn’t have that potassium. So sugar jacks up your insulin, your heart rate, and leads to insomnia or fitful sleep—sleep that is not deep or healing. Plus, sleep is when we recover from everything we did and ate all day. Without recovery, you can have a situation where your insulin is constantly jacked up, leading to being insulin resistant.
So sugar is a no-no when you’re trying to sleep.
Most people do not know this—but protein is a stimulant. It’s high in phosphorous, which will wake you up intermittently as you sleep—especially too much protein and especially if you’re not balancing it out with some vegetables. This is why people doing the Atkins diet are always tired. They’re not getting enough vegetables and complex carbs to keep them going all day or getting good sleep at night.
Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea, of course, are stimulants. Here’s the thing. I’m not opposed to you doing a small amount of coffee without sugar. Lots of coffee or tea is not good for you, though. If you’re drinking tea all day, it takes a long time for the liver to detoxify that caffeine, and that will keep you up at night.
Alcohol dehydrates you, amongst many other 'not so good' effects. It messes with your liver and it throws your hormones out of balance, and most definitely prevents you from going to sleep.
Protein + Sugar
If you combine lobster with dessert or say a hamburger with fries and a bun, you’re going to raise insulin and eventually create insulin resistance, both of which will keep you up peeing all night. Even ketchup on a burger does this, and then you’re up peeing all night and feeling bloated. You’re also going to gain weight in the midsection, and too much of this weight in the abdomen doesn’t leave enough space in your midsection. Then the belly starts pressing on your lungs, damaging sleep in all kinds of ways.
Too much belly fat can actually prevent comfortable sleep since the belly is always in the way.
Drinking Too Much Water
Drinking excessive amount of water can leave you up all night going to the bathroom, too. If you’re guzzling too much water at night because of evening workouts, try moving them up a bit or work out in the morning instead. When you keep getting up to pee at night, it will keep you from good delta wave sleep. This will cause disaster to our weight and to our health in all kinds of ways. (I talk about the importance of delta wave sleep in other podcasts.)
The best remedy I know about to enhance your deep delta wave sleep is called Adrenal Night Formula. The supplement is not a sleeping pill, it is an adrenal rejuvenator, which goes deeper and gets to the root at why you can’t sleep in the first place. Just take 1 thirty minutes before bed and sleep restfully for 7-8 hours.
However, if you just use the rule to only drink when you are thirsty, you will get enough water. A good idea is to add some apple cider vinegar or lemon – both are more hydrating than water alone and will keep you satiated longer.
I’d love to hear from you on any questions you have or comments about how snacking has affected your sleep.
Understand the importance of food intake in your sleep and see more Sleep Advice from Dr. Berg Video Blog.