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5 Foods That Sabotage Your Sleep

5 Foods That Sabotage Your Sleep

 If you’re having trouble sleeping, what about a midnight snack? Think twice–here are five foods that can prevent you from getting a good night’s rest:

1. Chocolate.
Love an evening cup of cocoa? That sundae in front of the TV? Be careful of chocolate in all its disguises. Many people are increasingly sensitive to caffeine as they get older, and even the little chocolate chunks in chocolate chip ice cream could zap you just enough to prevent ZZZZs. Chocolate also contains tyrosine, a stimulating amino acid.

2. Preserved and smoked meats.
Slap your hand away when it reaches to make a ham sandwich as an evening snack. Ham, bacon, sausages, and smoked meats contain high levels of the amino acid tyramine, which triggers the brain to release norepinephrine, a brain stimulant that makes us feel alert and wired.

4. Tomato sauce, chili, pizza, and spicy foods.
Digestive disturbances are a common source of sleep problems, but many people fail to make the connection. Acidic and spicy foods can cause reflux, heartburn, and other symptoms that interrupt sleep.

5. The nightcap.
A drink or two may make you feel more relaxed after dinner, but it comes back to haunt you–literally–a few hours later, by preventing you from achieving deep sleep. And because alcohol both dehydrates you and makes you have to pee, it wakes you up, too. Wine is high in the stimulant tyrosine as well.

By Melanie Haiken,

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