It’s late night and you are hours away from that deadline, 4th and long, you can’t afford to get comfortable. Yet you do need to eat, food is fuel! If you want to avoid the big sleep here are some ideas on foods you should avoid.
Carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates can drain every ounce of energy from your body. Usually revered for their properties when one is considering some form of physical exertion, the results are high amounts of short-term energy and then a crash. These include foods like white bread, white rice, candy bars, and other sweet snacks. These foods have a high glycaemic value. This may give you a short boost of energy but they burn fast and will leave you wishing for your pillow. If you are going to have a carbohydrate it is better to eat a complex carbohydrate. This will give you a slower release of energy and won’t leave you wishing for your bed.
High Fat Content Foods. When we are tired we tend to want comfort food, this means high fat content items like onion rings, Mac and cheese, or potato chips. All of these foods will bring your late night push to the finish line to its knees. The fat makes the digestion process harder and in many cases, you are mixing simple carbohydrates which only exacerbate the problem. Next time you want a pickup avoid the French fries and potato chips.
Sugar, it is a wonderful thing, it is what makes chocolate so tasty and soda so satisfying. If you are finding hard to keep your eyelids open you may think this is a great way to keep going. After all we have all seen a child after they have a large dose, they are bouncing off the walls. If you find yourself in need of a boost, avoid sugar at all cost! Foods like candy, doughnuts, and ice cream may seem like a good idea but the results will be a release of insulin. This in turn triggers your body to release tryptophan, this is the body’s natural feel-good-sleep chemical. This will not be a welcome addition to your struggle to stay awake!
When your goal is to stay awake you will want to pick foods that are simple and do not contain large amounts of sugar. A perfect alternative is a salad with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and other similar vegetables. Keep the dressing light or skip it all together. Also avoid gorging yourself, eat just enough to put something in your stomach, when you eat large meals your body works double time to digest it. This can lead to you feeling sleepy.
When your goal is to stay awake you will want to keep it simple, and when you feel the urge to eat you will want to keep it as simple as possible. If you don’t you might find that staying awake when you most need to a losing proposition.
Ai Barcelo is a content contributor for intelliBED, for more insightful information on sleep, and the science behind a good night’s sleep visit the website at intellibed.com.