Your diet and the food you eat (or don't eat) can have a huge effect on the quality of your sleep.
With that in mind, I want to share with you six foods that all insomniacs should avoid - and don't worry, the obvious candidates such as coffee don't make the list!
Junk Food: Foods that are high in fat and calories can harm your sleep.
A good snacking alternative is edamame, which is naturally high in magnesium.
Cruciferous Vegetables: Insomniacs should try to avoid raw cauliflower or broccoli in particular - especially late in the evening, since these vegetables may lead to stomach issues that can make sleep more difficult.
Bananas are a good alternative since they're naturally high in magnesium, tryptophan and potassium.
Cured Meat: Cured meats contain high levels of tyramine, an amino acid that stimulates the brain.
Turkey meat is a good alternative to sausage or bacon since it's naturally high in tryptophan.
Chocolate: Chocolate contains caffeine and tyrosine which the brain converts into the stimulant dopamine.
A better alternative is a trail mix that consists of almonds, walnuts and dried tart cherries.
Sugar: A known stimulant, sugar will make sleep more difficult. Don't reach for artificial alternatives such as Splenda, either.
Stick to the trail mix described above instead of digging into that tub of ice cream!
Decaffeinated Drinks: Just because it's marked as 'decaffeinated' doesn't mean that it's caffeine free. Studies have found that drinks sold as decaffeinated can still contain enough caffeine to disrupt sleep.
A better alternative is chamomile or other herbal teas.
Last updated: January 8, 2013