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It is bedtime, the bed is made up neatly, pillows well arranged, pajamas on, lights off and eyes closed. Several minutes later, eyes pop open because the mind refuses to wind down, you toss and turn, adjust and adjust yet again but “Mr Sleep” is waving at you from a very far distance and he refuses to come closer.

Well, you have done all the obvious but certain habits may be the reason for your inability to sleep, for instance, the meal you had before bedtime. Listed below are some of the worst foods you can have as or with your dinner for obvious or not-so-obvious reasons.

1. Coffee
Coffee contains caffeine, which is a central nervous stimulant and can keep you awake if taken close to bedtime. Of course, people differ in their sensitivity to caffeine and that’s usually based on how much caffeine you’re accustomed to consuming.

2. Wine
Alcohol of any kind is terrible for sleep because it metabolizes quickly in your system and causes you to wake up multiple times during the night. Alcohol also makes snoring worse so you might want to have mercy on your partner.

3. Bacon cheeseburger
The stratospheric fat content of this particular fast food is guaranteed to be a sleep killer. Fat stimulates the production of acid in the stomach, which can spill up into your esophagus, causing heartburn. Fatty foods can also loosen the lower esophageal sphincter, the barrier between the stomach and the esophagus, making it even easier for acid to get in all the wrong places. In essence, grabbing a big, fat cheeseburger (you are very hungry) on your way from work after a very long day (you are too tired to cook) is a no-no.

4. Chicken
Chicken or any type of protein is going to be counterproductive if consumed at night. Digestion is supposed to slow by about 50% while you’re sleeping but if you eat a lot of protein, you digest even more slowly. Instead of focusing on sleeping, your body is focusing on digesting. Adding a carbohydrate to the protein can tip the balance back towards sleep.

5. Soda drinks
Typical soda drinks like Pepsi and Coke contain citrus as well as sodium benzoate and other chemicals which can aggravate the gastrointestinal tract and promote acid reflux, this is not a recipe for a good night’s sleep.

6. Dark chocolate
Chocolate contains not only calories, but caffeine, especially dark chocolate. A 1.55-ounce Hershey’s milk chocolate bar, for instance, contains about 12 milligrams of caffeine, or the same amount as three cups of decaffeinated coffee. Chocolate also contains theobromine, another stimulant that can increase heart rate and sleeplessness.

There is nothing as good as getting into bed and drifting off within minutes at bedtime. Sleeplessness doesn’t only affect one’s body, it also affects your productivity and relationship with others.

Eat right to sleep right!

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