How to sleep: Two of the worst foods to have before bed – the surprising ‘culprits’

Fitness & Health:

Everyone needs different amounts of sleep. On average adults need seven to nine hours, while children need nine to 13 hours. Toddlers and babies need 12 to 17 hours of sleep, every day. The NHS says how we sleep and how much sleep we need is different for all of us and changes as we get older.

The NHS says: “Most people experience problems with sleep in their life. In fact, it’s thought that a third of Brits will have episodes of insomnia at some point.”

“Some people are naturally lighter sleepers or take longer to drop off, while some life circumstances might make it more likely for your sleep to be interrupted, like stressful events or having a new baby.”

The Sleep Association says tomatoes are “not good pre-bedtime”. The health body adds: “Tomatoes aren’t the only food that can cause acid reflux. Onions create gas as they move through your digestive system.”


Indeed, it explains: “That gas affects the pressure within your stomach, which can send acid back up your esophagus, especially when you’re lying down flat. Sadly, both raw and grilled onions have this effect.”

It adds: “You already know to stay away from coffee late at night, but that’s not the only culprit when it comes to sleep issues and food.”

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If poor sleep is affecting your daily life or causing you distress, you can talk to your GP.

People with insomnia will regularly find it hard to go to sleep, can wake up several times during the night and lie awake at night.

They might also find it difficult to concentrate during the day because they are tired, or wake up early and find they cannot go back to sleep.

If you have insomnia for less than three months, it is called short-term insomnia. Insomnia that lasts three months or longer is called long-term insomnia.

For most, sleep problems tend to sort themselves out within about a month, according to the NHS.

The CDC says adults who are short sleepers are more likely to report certain chronic health conditions compared to those who got enough sleep.

The NHS says: “ Studies have shown that people who sleep less than 7 hours a day tend to gain more weight and have a higher risk of becoming obese than those who get 7 hours.

“It’s believed to be because sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin (the chemical that makes you feel full) and increased levels of ghrelin (the hunger-stimulating hormone).”

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