The Everyday Foods That Could Quietly Be Stealing Your Sleep

It's been a long day, and all you want to do is come home, kick off those shoes, have some dinner, and head to bed. Just getting home felt like a long, exhausting trip. You're not even sure why you're so tired to begin with — after all, you got eight hours of sleep, had a good breakfast and a filling lunch, and you weren't doing anything too strenuous. You'll probably fall asleep on your recliner, only to be up all night trying to sleep later on. 

Although you may not have realized it, the food you eat throughout the day could be hurting your sleep schedule. According to TODAY, there's a variety of common foods that may give you a burst of energy now, but leave you sluggish and exhausted down the road. That breakfast of Frosted Flakes and coffee gave you the boost you needed to get through the morning, and a meal of fast food burgers and soda for lunch topped off with some frozen yogurt was enough to get you through the workday. All that sugar, salt, and carbohydrates may have given you energy for the day, but at the end, all you have to show for it is a heavy feeling in your stomach and an urge to not do much of anything at all. What exactly can you do to avoid this situation?

Foods that'll keep your energy up

While the obvious solution would be to cut back on those bowls of sugary cereal and McDonald's lunch trips, you're probably worried about another factor: feeling full. After all, what's the point of having energy if you're just going to feel hungry an hour later? Fortunately, there are plenty of foods that will keep you full and energized throughout your busy workday without causing sluggishness later on.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Eat Right program recommends a diet of whole grain foods, low-fat or fat-free dairy, and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables such as apples, bananas, potatoes, and carrots. While healthy fat can help provide extra energy, the Eat Right program recommends keeping the amount of fat relatively small. 

INTEGRIS Health also recommends some delicious and filling foods that you could swap in for your usual workday meals. Oatmeal for breakfast, for example, has a high fiber content that can leave you feeling full for longer while also building up your energy for the day ahead. Replace a heavy meal of burgers and fries with rice and a fatty fish like salmon, plus cups of cold water to keep you refreshed and energized. Nuts and seeds can also be good if you need a quick snack to hold you over.

While changing your diet is key to health, you don't need to make drastic modifications. You can still enjoy heavier foods like burgers in moderation while prioritizing healthier, energizing fare when you know you need it most.