Alcohol, extra fats and sweets can mess with our sleep patterns. Heartburn or gas bouts can keep you up at night.
Food can affect you hours after ingested, so keep your last meal of the day light. All those meaty breads and quiches and frankfurter rolls add up to a lot of fat. Fats such as this, especially if you are not used to it, take longer to digest and can be the biggest source of gas bouts at night. Spicy dips, extra sugars and alcohol can increase heartburn. Even excessive amounts of dairy that you are not accustomed to can cause bloating, constipation and unexpelled gas.
Stay away from these foods, fizzy drinks or raw vegetables if you are not used to them, at least four hours before bedtime.
Drinking lots of water can ensure regular bathroom trips. Also, try not to vary too much from your regular diet for days on end. While we’ve all heard this before, eating smaller meals more frequently will help keep balanced digestion. Eating slower and more mindfully also helps. Increasing fiber can combat some of the increased fat consumed. Find a hummus dip at a party or have a bowl of oatmeal for dinner. Nice, light fibers such as these will help balance the slowed digestion from other party dieting. Squeeze in a clementine or orange, grapes or other extra fruits during the day. If you need to, then you can drink a psyllium fiber drink an hour or two before bedtime.
If you can, then take a short walk close to bedtime. If you’re out socializing, then walk around to do so. Keep your body a little active to help aid digestion, but not increase heart rate and hinder sleep in other ways.
Antacids such as Tums help, but are not always the answer since they can exacerbate constipation and bloating. Adding a little sodium bicarbonate (Dr. Oz recommends 1/2 teaspoon) to a glass of water will ease heartburn. A remedy for a sour stomach is crystallized or candied ginger. Ginger tea can also help upset stomachs, while fennel tea can help gas and bloating. Consider using any of these an hour before bedtime.
As for alcohol, many of these same tips apply. If you don’t mix drinks, then space drinks out for one an hour and don’t have more than four in one night. Certainly too many nights in a row will contribute to a considerable amount of heartburn!
So, what do you do if you are still tossing in bed hours after hitting the sack?
You simply cannot continue to lie there. The best thing to do is sip small amounts of water and walk around. You can try any of the above options that you haven’t tried. Try and keep this to a half-hour time. Now take a trip to the bathroom. Don’t overdo any of the above options or you may find yourself additional considerations! Sometimes we have to learn by trial and error or decide ahead of time that we know the risks of one night’s transgressions.