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Food and drink to avoid in the evening if you have sleep apnea - July 11th, 2020

If you have sleep apnea, you’ve probably tried a whole host of tips and tricks to improve the quality of your sleep. As well as following a prescribed treatment programme, there is a wide range of lifestyle changes you can make to ease your symptoms and generally feel more rested throughout the day.

What many sleep apnea sufferers do not realise is that diet can play a significant role in determining the severity of symptoms. If you’re looking to sleep more soundly, it is a good idea to avoid the following foods and drinks in the hours leading up to bedtime:

1. Caffeine

We probably don’t need to mention this, but caffeine is a stimulant that should be avoided in the evening. Even those without sleep apnea find it difficult to have a restful night after drinking a late-afternoon coffee. Of course, it is important to understand that there are plenty of other foods and drinks containing caffeine, including various teas, chocolate, soft drinks, and candies. What’s more, many decaf coffee brands actually still contain caffeine – always check the label.

2. High-fat foods

Foods high in fat tend to be digested slowly and cause issues such as bloating, heartburn, and stomach cramps if eaten too close to bedtime. Try to keep your evening meals relatively light and give your body a few hours to digest it before going to sleep.

3. Spicy foods

Spicy food can cause the body to heat up, something which can disrupt your natural sleep cycle. It can also be troublesome for people who experience acid reflux on a regular basis, as it can cause night-time reflux.

4. Alcohol

It can be tempting to indulge in alcohol before bedtime to help you feel drowsy. However, while a whiskey could help you to fall asleep, it is likely to wake you up again in a few short hours. This is because alcohol can disrupt a person’s natural sleep cycle, cutting short their deep sleep and leaving them feeling grouchy in the morning.

5. Certain vegetables

Fibrous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and onions can take a while to digest. If eaten too close to bedtime, you could be left feeling bloated and unwell in bed. Try to stick to vegetables with high water content for your evening meals such as cucumbers, celery and radishes.

For more advice on dealing with your sleep apnea, contact us at ApneaSeal today.

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