It’s normal for our medical weight loss or weight maintenance patients to focus on food and exercise. But all healthy habits are important, and that includes sleep. Naturally, if you’re not sleeping well, you probably won’t feel like exercising. And poor sleep habits can trigger the production of stress hormones, which contribute to fat storage and slowed metabolism. Since all aspects of health are interrelated, it’s best to get to the bottom of any sleep problems you might be having.
In fact, your habits are so interrelated that it might be your diet that causes your insomnia! Ask yourself if any of the following problems apply to you.
Are you consuming caffeine after 3pm? In the morning, a bit of caffeine can give you energy to start your day. But after about 3pm, it will only keep you up at night. Make sure to cut off your coffee and tea intake by mid-afternoon, and remember that foods like chocolate contain caffeine too.
Are you eating spicy foods late at night? If you love spicy foods, like curry or Mexican dishes, it might be wise to indulge in those treats for lunch instead of dinner. In some people, spicy foods trigger acid reflux or indigestion, which can keep you awake (and uncomfortable) after bedtime.
Are you drinking alcohol? Even a small amount of alcohol can prevent you from reaching the deeper stages of sleep. You might wake up throughout the night, or feel sluggish and exhausted the next day.
Are you eating a lot of fatty or fried foods? It’s really best to avoid fatty and fried foods entirely, because they’re calorie-dense and often much less healthy than other meal options. But if you’re going to indulge, save the heavy stuff for lunchtime. When you eat these dishes later in the day, digestive issues can keep you up at night.
The above foods are some of the most common offenders that disrupt healthy sleep cycles. But if you notice a pattern with any food that you consume regularly, try eliminating it from your diet and see if your sleep problems resolve themselves. And for more information on a healthy eating plan for medical weight loss or maintenance, call us to schedule an appointment. We can help you improve all areas of your daily habits, so that your overall health improves too.