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Foods That Will Damage Your Sleep: Revealed by a Sleep Expert

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Katherine Hall, a sleep expert with over 13 years of clinical experience in public and private sectors, has revealed the foods people need to avoid this festive season to aid in better sleep.

Get Laid Beds has joined forces with Katherine Hall, a renowned sleep expert, for an in-depth look into the science behind good sleep. 

Salty food

If you can’t fall asleep or struggle to stay asleep, salt could be the root of the issue. Sodium-high meals result in fluid retention and increased blood pressure, making it hard for the body to switch off completely after eating snacks like crisps or salted nuts.

Smoked hams such as gammon and bacon are full of salts, so avoid the Christmas ham in the evening buffets if you’re after a good night’s sleep.”

This then results in something called superficial sleep, where the sleep isn’t very deep and can often involve disturbances like going to the toilet more, as studies show this can be brought on more by too much salt in the diet.

Acidic food

If we take a deep dive into certain acidic foods, those struggling to sleep will want to avoid some more than others. Tyramine is an amino acid that is normally a great addition to anyone’s diet as it stimulates natural brain activity.

For those of us looking to get more sleep, however, it’s something to avoid completely if possible. Tyramine stimulates the production of norepinephrine, triggering the ‘fight-or-flight’ response and sending your body into a hyper-aroused state. Foods that are high in tyramine include tomatoes, aubergines, soy sauce, red wine and cheeses. The latter two are two that are likely to creep into any Christmas menu, so don’t overdo the cheese and wine.

Spicy Food

Thankfully, Christmas isn’t typically fueled by spice. However, the amount of spice we have in our food, is a fairly divisive topic. That being said, for anyone struggling to sleep, avoid spicy foods altogether.

Digesting the various spices and chillies you have in your curries or other hot dishes can severely disrupt our body’s ability to thermoregulate, which essentially means managing our temperature.

Capsaicin is the chemical in spicy food that causes our temperature to sky rocket, so combine this with the energy your body needs to digest the remainder of the meal and you can really struggle to get some solid sleep.

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