We all crave a good night’s sleep, especially after a long and tiring day at work. But do you constantly find yourself staring at the clock watching the minutes pass by while you try to sleep? If you’re having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, it’s essential to determine the reasoning behind it so you can pivot and get the sleep you need.
It may come as a surprise, but your diet can be impacting your quality of sleep. From eating particular foods too close to bedtime or overeating throughout the day, there are various ways that food may be causing sleep dysfunction. If you think your diet may be causing you to have difficultly sleeping, keep reading to learn more from the team at ApneaMed.
How Eating Affects Sleep
Your diet impacts the quality of sleep you receive in a few different ways. If you find yourself eating dinner later in the evening, you may have difficulty falling asleep because your body will be trying to digest the meal you just ate. It can take a few hours for your body to digest a meal, making it hard for your body to relax and fall asleep at night. Those who eat closer to bedtime are more likely to experience frequent sleep disruptions throughout the night.
Along with the time you’re eating your last meal, overeating can cause you to feel uncomfortable and make it difficult to relax at bedtime. Not only can overeating before bed cause you to feel discomfort, but it can also induce health problems such as acid reflux, heartburn, and indigestion. These problems will make it much harder for you to become comfortable and get the shuteye you need to feel rested.
Now that we see how eating affects sleep quality, it’s time to look at how an unhealthy diet can worsen sleep disorders.
Unhealthy Diets and Sleep Disorders
While overeating and eating too late can worsen your sleep quality, you also need to consider what foods you are putting into your body. If you are eating unhealthy foods (or even overeating healthy foods!), you may be consuming more calories than you’re burning off in a day — leading to weight gain. Obesity can lead to a variety of health issues, including sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes an individual to experience numerous breathing disruptions throughout the night. The cessations in breathing occur when the soft tissues in their throat collapse and block their airway, causing them to choke or gasp for air in an attempt to reopen the airway. The more weight there is on the individual’s neck, the more likely an individual will experience breathing disruptions from sleep apnea.
Overeating or maintaining an unhealthy diet can cause you to gain weight and make you more susceptible to sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
Along with an unhealthy diet, alcohol consumption has also been found to aggravate sleep apnea symptoms as it relaxes the muscles in the throat. If you regularly drink alcohol before going to sleep, you may notice an increase in breathing disruptions.
Still Struggling to Get a Good Night’s Sleep?
If you’re still struggling to get a good night’s sleep after making changes to your eating habits, take ApneaMed’s home sleep study to test for obstructive sleep apnea. A board-certified sleep physician will review your results and provide a recommended treatment plan that will allow for a deeper sleep. ApneaMed can also supply the breathing machine you need. Contact our team to learn more.