Unfortunately, it is not quite as easy putting your head down on the pillow at 10.29pm and waking up again at 6.00am. Your food and drink choices will have an impact on your sleep quality. Eating sugary carbs just before bed can give you a rush of energy that prevents you from falling asleep or can wake you up. Eating too much at dinner can cause some people discomfort and make it harder to fall asleep on a full stomach. There is also the impact that low levels of micronutrients or stimulants like caffeine that play in impairing your sleep quality. And then the next day when you are tired, your willpower is low and your energy level fading you have an increase likelihood of choosing those sugary snacks to keep you going.
Alcohol is another drink that can have negative implications for your sleep. While drinking alcohol may help you fall asleep quicker, it tends to interrupt your circadian rhythm and reduce your REM sleep leaving you feeling worse off the next day. Alcohol has been found to increase the production of your sleep-inducing chemicals enabling a faster onset of sleep. However, these chemicals subside as quickly as they came, making it more likely that you’ll wake up in the middle of the night. And alcohol has also been shown to block REM sleep causing you to miss out on the most restorative type of sleep.
There are a number of other factors besides food that you should also prepare for if you want a good night’s sleep. Exposure to light will stimulate the suppress your levels of melatonin making you feel awake instead of sleepy, so you should turn off any laptops or mobile phones when you get into bed and instead try reading. Exercise will also help exhaust the body, ensure a release of natural endorphins and make you more likely to get a good night’s sleep as your body repairs itself overnight. And trying to manage any negative thoughts such as anxiety or stress which create a heightened state of alertness can delay the onset of sleep and cause rapid, anxious thoughts to occur at night.