Can’t Sleep? What did you eat?

Can’t Sleep? What did you eat?

Friday, 02 September 2011 20:55

Do you have trouble getting to sleep, get to sleep but wake up during the night or think you sleep well yet don’t wake up refreshed?

We did a seminar with some night shift workers. As they have to sleep during the day, and thus miss their body’s natural sleep rejuvenation cycle, getting good-quality sleep is really important for them.

While there are many possible causes of not sleeping well, one that came up (and often overlooked), is how certain foods/drinks can adversely affect your sleep. So we thought we’d outline some of the main foods to avoid/reduce, for the 3 main types of disturbed sleep.

* Suggestions generally refer to ‘dinner time’ only.

1. If You Have Difficulty ‘Getting to Sleep’:

Apart from the Obvious one…Coffee!!!


i) Caffeinated things – high caffeine tea, cola drinks, chocolate etc.

ii) Too much ‘Raw salad’ – a little pasta type salad is a better option (if need be).

iii) Garlic, Chilli (or other ‘hot’ spicy foods – pepper, cayenne powder etc)

iv) Spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, green beans.
* If you do cook these, cook them well and use a bit more oil &/or salt.

v) Too ‘Little’ Food – not eating enough (especially if hungry) can obviously stop you getting to sleep.

2. If You ‘Wake-Up’ During The Night:

* not toilet related – i.e You Don’t Go Straight Back to Sleep:


i) Too much ‘dry’ foods – e.g dry crackers, bread/dry toast etc. (especially rye bread, white breads or corn flour bread).

ii) Really Sour fruits – sour oranges/pineapples, grapefruit etc.

iii) as above in points iii) iv) & v).

3. If You Think You Sleep Well but Don’t Wake Up Refreshed:


i) Alcohol & Sleeping Tablets.

Both alcohol & sleeping tablets will help you ‘get to sleep’ (as they relax the nervous system), however both adversely interfere with what’s called R.E.M sleep. This is the critical part of your sleep/wake cycle in terms of deep stress release and rejuvenation. So you sleep…but still wake up ‘foggy’/less than fully energised. Neither should be relied upon long-term for getting to sleep.

ii) Excess Heavy Foods (not digested before sleeping): Meats, Cheeses (especially yellow cheese), Fried Food, Bananas, Nuts, Heavy Desserts etc

Settled Sleep Milk Recipe:

For an evening milk drink recipe to help sleep, visit https://www.healthspeaker.com.au/dietnutritionrecipes.php?p=6

Laugh of the Week: Speaking of Food:

Two old ladies are in a restaurant.

One complains, “You know, the food here is just terrible.

“The other shakes her head and adds, “And such small portions.”
(Woody Allen)

Mark Bunn

Mark Bunn – is a leading natural health researcher specialising in Ayurvedic medicine, author of the three-time best-selling ‘Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health‘ and one of Australasia's most popular health and performance speakers.  Mark is also CEO of David Lynch Foundation Australia.