You’ve just enjoyed a romantic evening out. The candles were perfect but now you’re sleepless. Was it the food or time of day?
As we age everything changes. Foods we use to love seem to no longer love us and we end up with indigestion. Foods containing caffeine, tomato products, and alcohol can trigger stomach acid and reflux.
If we eat spicy foods too close to bedtime, our bodies not only heat up but produce that extra acid that keeps us uncomfortable. Thus, night sweats aren’t just for menopause when we consume hot peppers in the evening.
Foods and beverages that keep us alert are coffee, teas, sodas and dark chocolate. These caffeinated foods and drinks can mix indigestion with excess energy–which keeps us staring at the ceiling.
Although a glass of wine with a late dinner or closer to bedtime may seem relaxing, studies show that it can reduce deep sleep and cause frequent waking.
Which foods can help us get a good night’s sleep? Those possessing complex carbohydrates like brown rice or a whole-grain muffin. Healthy fats like those in salmon, avocados, olive oil and nuts are also sleepy-time helpers.
When our grandkids stay over, we can share a piece of whole-wheat toast or brown, rice cakes with a glass of milk to help everyone rest more peacefully.
Rested and refreshed for each new day
If you’re spending more than your fair share awake, try keeping a food diary. Jot down what you had for dinner and at what time. Include any snacks. Then eliminate those producing acid or revving up your body heat.
As grandparents, we want to rise and shine with plenty of gusto to keep up with our grands. Sure, we still want to pass around a chocolate bar, now and then, but timing is everything. An after-lunch treat is best.
Ask your doctor about foods that help or hinder your slumber. He or she can help devise a plan to make sure you get in those 7 to 8 hours.
And don’t forget the bedtime routine. Signaling our bodies to relax, rather than triggering them to wakefulness, pays off in the morning.