You are what you eat
I can hear you saying, "Okay... now I have to watch what I eat
and when I eat it... but now you are going to limit my fluids?"
No! However, there are certain factors that should be kept in
mind when drinking any type of fluids. One troublesome item is
caffeine. Caffeine interferes with sleep with most people.
Caffeine can also become an addiction... so watching our intake
should be important.
Nursing mothers should be even more careful
than most others, since the caffeine can travel through the
breast milk to the infant causing many problems with the child's
sleep patterns. Infants do not process the caffeine very well,
and it takes a long time for the caffeine to exit their systems.
With this in mind, caffeine can build up in the infant's system
causing many different sleep disturbances.
So how much caffeine does it take to cause problems? This
question can be answered simply by stating that everyone is
different. One person could be affected with two cups of coffee,
when others can drink more and not have a terrible effect. One
soft drink contains the same amount of caffeine that is in one
half cup of coffee.
To avoid such problems, one should try and
not consume and coffees, teas, or soft drinks that contain
caffeine after their dinner. Some that seem to be overly
sensitive to the effects of caffeine should try to limit their
intake even sooner than dinner. It takes three full hours for
one cup of coffee to be eliminated from the system.
We've hit upon certain factors in both food and fluids that can
hamper sleep or induce sleep. When doing research, I came upon
some extras that need to be addressed as well. Many people have
taken candy bars and the such to work or school to help boost
their energy. However, the effects of the sugar can actually do
the exact opposite at times. Eating sugary foods can boost your
level of energy, but it will be used by the body at a fast rate.
The body processes sugar, which then triggers insulin to be
released, therefore creating an incredible sugar high. Once the
sugar starts being processed out of the system, the individual
may experience an energy low causing sleepiness or irritability.
Everyone has a different effect from sugar, but for sleeping
sake... one should try and stay away from sugary foods until
after the part of the day that they need to be most productive.
The same is said about just before bedtime. By taking in that
sugar before you try to go to sleep, it will hinder it by
creating the sugar high... therefore causing you to stay awake.
Nicotine is the other extra that can hamper your sleep patterns.
Along with alcohol... they both can interrupt your sleep.
Nicotine is a stimulant that will cause you much grief with
insomnia. Alcohol is a depressant that if taken in doses large
enough will cause you to become sleepy. By taking these drugs,
they will come between you and your normal sleep pattern.
Eating a huge meal right before going to sleep or going to sleep
hungry can also compromise good sleep patterns. If you are
hungry at bedtime, it would be sensible to have a small snack to
tide you over until the next morning. It would also be good to
evaluate your eating patterns to see if you should add a snack
or change your times for having large meals to accommodate your
By simply restructuring your meals, it could
greatly affect your sleep or your lack of sleep.
Published On: June 16, 2009