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Does What I Eat or Drink Affect My Sleep?

Does What I Eat or Drink Affect My Sleep?

Definitely. Caffeine and alcohol are the two biggest culprits, but other substances may affect your sleep too.

Caffeine even in small doses blocks sleep neurotransmitters. If you have a problem with sleep, cut out coffee and any caffeinated beverages (even in the morning). Caffeine is not just in coffee. It’s in colas and other soft drinks, tea, even some herbal teas, chocolate and some medications (Anacin and Excedrin, for example). There’s even a little caffeine in decaffeinated coffee. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant with a half life typically of up to 7 hours. But for some people it may be much longer especially if you are taking an oral contraceptive, some medications, have liver problems or are just getting older.

Alcohol has an initial sleep inducing effect, but when broken down by the body, it can lighten sleep and causes frequent and early awakening. Alcohol interacts with GABA receptors, blocking the brain’s oxygen sensors, cutting oxygen and complicating sleep conditions, particularly for sleep apnea. Habitual alcohol consumption just before bedtime can reduce it’s sleep-inducing effect, while its disruptive effects continue or even increase.

Tobacco acts as a stimulant and blocks sleep neurotransmitters.

Many medications, such as antihistamines, diuretics, antipsychotics, antidepressants decongestants, asthma medications, and some blood pressure medicines, also cause sleeplessness. If you’re taking any necessary medication that interrupts your sleep, talk with your doctor about an alternative.
Certain foods can cause food reactions or sensitivities which can effect your sleep cycle. Refined grains and sugars before bed can raise blood sugar and overstress the organs involved in hormone regulation throughout the body. This hormone roller coaster can affect sleep cycles by waking you up at odd times during sleep as the hormone levels fluctuate.

Too many liquids in the 4 hrs before bed can effect you too. Try not to drink too much before turning in.

So eliminating caffeine, alcohol, sugar and refined grains and the common food allergens, gluten and dairy, is a good place to start.

Read more: Diet & Nutrition, General Health, Health, Revive with Dr. Frank Lipman, , , , , , ,

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Dr. Frank Lipman

Founder and director of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City, Dr Frank Lipman is a pioneer and internationally recognized expert in the fields of Integrative and Functional Medicine. His personal brand of healing has helped thousands of people reclaim their vitality and recover their zest of life. To hang with Frank, visit his blog, follow him on Twitter or join his Facebook community today.


+ add your own
4:11PM PDT on Aug 11, 2012

very keen article, thanks!

10:35AM PDT on Aug 11, 2012


10:23AM PDT on Aug 11, 2012

Thanks, can`t say it have bother me tough..........

8:24AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Interesting but it also depends on the individual as I can drive around at two in the morning doing night time Nature photography, have a large coffee and then sleep like a baby.

For things to make one feel sleepy, Catnip tea and turkey helps. Give some catnip to the cat as well but that excites the cat, while it makes us sleepy! The cat won't mind if a bit of turkey goes her way as well.

5:15PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012


3:49AM PDT on Oct 9, 2011

Thank you

4:50AM PST on Mar 3, 2011

Thanks for the info.

4:44PM PST on Feb 1, 2011


5:08AM PST on Jan 9, 2011

Thanks for the article.

2:14AM PDT on Aug 30, 2010


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