8 Foods that Prevent Sleep (Part 1)

July 29, 2013

Chocolate

So just recently, we’ve been talking insomnia. In case you haven’t found out yet, there are about as many types of insomnia as there are fingers on both your hands. It’s not just a simple matter of saying, “I have insomnia,” but it’s also determining what kind of insomnia it is.

If you have read that 3-part series about the different kinds of insomnia, then you might remember that a certain kind of insomnia is indeed caused by what that person ingests, namely, Insomnia due to Substance. It covers different kinds of medications and pharmaceutical drugs that that person has taken, but there’s a fairly big list of foods that prevent sleep for almost all individuals. In the first of this two-part entry, I’ll tell you about 4 foods that can possibly cause insomnia.

Before everything else, I just want to remind you that what goes in your body’s system is directly relation to your current physiological condition. Let’s keep that in mind, okay? Let’s get down to business and start the countdown!

  • Caffeine

Let’s begin with the liquid-ish edible nutrition first. I know that the word “food” usually by default means solid food, but that’s not always the case in when we’re talking about anything that gets absorbed in your body’s digestive system. So yeah, caffeine: coffee, sodas, soft-drinks, and a lot of other sources that we’re fond of drinking (and sometimes eating too.)

For obvious reasons, caffeine prevents sleep because it’s a stimulant. That’s why people drink it (like college students and employees working really early or late shifts). It’s because it keeps them awake. I guess it’s just plain common sense to conclude that something that’s meant to keep you awake is the same thing that prevents sleep.

  • Alcohol and Nicotine

Alcohol and nicotine? What do they have in common? Aside from something that is frowned upon by a politically-correct society, they’re both sleep-preventers. Alcohol is a beverage that’s (sometimes) consumed by people trying to forget about their problems, but the added problem to that is that they won’t be able to sleep soundly enough to actually not feel the problem.

They’ll stay awake longer, and that’s another problem. And if you drink too much, you’d pass out, and we all know that sleeping intoxicated poses enough problems already. Smoking, on the other hand, isn’t really a “food,” but the nicotine gets absorbed into your bloodstream. Alcohol and nicotine are two chemicals that keep you up.

  • Chocolate

Okay, now we’re in the transition from liquid to solid food. Chocolate is commonly consumed in both forms – as chocolate milk, or chocolate bars. But in either forms, it’s still chocolate nonetheless. Chocolate has a substance called “tyramine” which increases the amount of norepinephrine being released in your body’s system. What so bad about that? Well, norepinephrine is a brain stimulant. I guess by now you know that the word “stimulant” doesn’t apply well at all if your goal is attaining sleep.

  • Sugar

What do both sugar and chocolate have in common? Yeah, they’re both sweet and delicious, and yes, they indeed are enough to (hopefully) cure a lamenting teenage girl’s broken heart. But in addition to all of those, they both keep you awake at night.

Sugar in itself is energy in a very yummy solid form. It’s basically energy that causes people who consume it quickly to go into a phase of hyperactivity known as a “sugar rush.” Well, for obvious reasons, it’s not recommended to have a sugar rush during the time when your body should be settling itself down to rest, you know. Energy makes you go, and you don’t want to go when you want to sleep, right?

That’s only the beginning. Stay tuned for Part 2 to find out the remaining 4 foods that have the potential to steal slumber from your tired eyes.

It’s not the end, my friend,

And to the next article, you, I send.

But whether or not sleep will mend,

Keep the rest, and from stress, defend.

That was just a little rhyme from me. Anyway, sweet dreams, and lay off of the Nutella, booze, nicotine, and gummy bears if you want to catch some Z’s. Ciao!