It took me years to realise that I am allergic to garlic. Not allergic in the traditional sense, more that every time I have garlic I’m stimulated as though I have had twenty cups of coffee. Whenever I used to eat out I’d return home and be unable to get to sleep. One night lying there wide awake it hit me. Yes, that’s it, that’s why I’m still awake, it’s the garlic.
I conducted a search on the internet and found that garlic is indeed a stimulant and in fact many religions ban it for this very reason, believing it to posess demonic like powers. The Romans used it before battle to give them energy. No wonder it kept me awake.
Luckily for me I can tolerate onions. Being part of the garlic family they are also stimulating for some people. The have to be cooked though as raw onion has the same effect as garlic. Ironically onions are also sophorific, responsible for inducing sleep. Go figure.
Whenever I eat a meal full of raw garlic I feel as though I have had twenty cups of coffee and drank copious amounts of very cheap wine. I have since found out garlic contains sulphites which is also the preservative used in wine. So the fact I’m allergic or at best intolerant to sulphites in wine then it goes without saying that there is a direct correlation between the garlic and the way it makes me feel.
In my research I discovered that sulphites in the body make homocysteine which then converts to cysteine which is known for overexciting the brain and causing asthma.
All in all I would highly recommend that if you’re prone to insomnia you use other herbs and spices to flavour your food and opt for the non garlic options when you are at a restaurant. It does become tricky however if you are at someone’s home for dinner. I generally eat whatever is put in front of me and suffer the consequences however I recently had a friend come over for dinner and tell me that she can’t eat garlic and would it be ok to make her meal without it (arghhh, the theme of that particular night was middle eastern and I had intended this to be one of those nights that I just didn’t sleep in order to enjoy the meal as the recipe intended).
So to sum up, if you want to get a better night sleep then you should avoid garlic.