Insomnia and Nutrition

The food we eat can also have an  impact on all the body structures, influencing nervous and physical activities alike. Because of that it is not  surprising to most to  discover that insomnia and nutrition are interrelated.

Food digestion requires a certain amount of effort from the muscles around the stomach.  This area is rich in nerve endings. As a result, heavy meals in the evening are not recommended since they can easily trigger sleep disorders or difficulty going asleep. The last meal of the day should be taken at least two hours before going to bed, to allow enough time to the stomach to process food; as it generaly takes 2-3 hours to digest most of the stomach content.

Food that are difficult to process remains in the stomach for many hours this is why nutritionists recommend only light meals after six o’clock in the evening. Fruit and salads, dairy products, cereals, soup or broth are easier to digest in the evening, whereas meat, sweets and fat dishes are the require the most intense of efforts on the part of the digestive system.

Sleep Therapists advise their patients, who suffer from both insomnia and nutrition problems, to try to drink a glass of warm milk sweetened with honey before going to bed.  Doing this can have a soothing effect and has been known to induce natural sleep without much effort on your part.

Insomnia and nutrition affect people of all ages alike, not to mention that there is also a psychological dimension of the problem as well. Insomnia and nutrition problems are common among overweight people who experience the syndrome of “emotional hunger“. Due to depression, or emotional instability.  Due to these conditions, one could get up in the middle of the night with food cravings, and she or he may not be able to sleep until the craving is satisfied.

As you can tell by the example above, some disorders involve both sleep and eating habits. Condition is deeply rooted in psychological issues that demand a quick solution. The measure to be taken seems simple: therapy and professional help should be undergone by anyone with insomnia and nutrition problems.

Food and diet also plays an important role in the fight against insomnia. Some food items are more likely to cause insomnia and nutrition problems than others. People with insomnia should controls their alcohol, caffeine and nicotine intake. Caffeine and nicotine are known to be strong stimulants and highly affect sleep (Garcia,2015). On the other hand, alcohol intake can lead to nighttime wakefulness. People with insomnia should also avoid excess sugar since it can lead to uneven sugar levels at night resulting in insomnia. They should also eat food that induce sleep, such as Tryptophan. Magnesium rich foods are also helpful in dealing with sleep difficulty, muscle tremors, constipation, irritability, anxiety, and pain which result in insomnia.

Another good example of a food item that may effect sleep is chocolate; due to the large amount of cocoa it contains, particularly in dark varieties, chocolate can cause agitation and sleeplessness in children and sensitive adults alike. The explanation behind such insomnia and nutrition imbalances triggered by chocolate consists in the amount of lecithin that it contains. Lecithin is a brain stimulator, activating the nervous impulses at the level of the central nervous system; this is why it is advisable not to allow children to eat chocolate in excess.


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