Are the snacks you indulge in before bedtime among the three foods you should steer clear of? If they are, they might be significantly affecting both the quality and quantity of your sleep.
After a demanding day, we all deserve a small indulgence before we retire to bed. You might even have a preferred nightly treat, such as a tempting chocolate cookie or a comforting slice of cheese on toast. However, it appears that some of these delightful snacks can disrupt our bodies and sleep patterns.
The repercussions of late-night eating have been extensively researched, and although it’s not entirely discouraged, if you’re aiming to enhance your sleep quality, there are specific foods you should avoid in close proximity to bedtime. Surprisingly, some of these foods offer various other health benefits.
What are the 3 foods you should never eat before bedtime?
Spicy food can really mess up our sleep. It has something called capsaicin, which makes our body temperature go up and makes it hard for us to find the right temperature for sleep. If you’re going through menopause or perimenopause, spicy food can make hot flashes worse, making you sweat and feel too hot all night.
Even though spicy food doesn’t have caffeine, eating a lot of it before bed can make your stomach work too hard when it should be resting. “Spicy foods can give some people heartburn or indigestion,” says Trotman, and just these problems alone can stop you from sleeping. Sometimes, it can even hurt. So, it’s a good idea to avoid spicy food before bedtime if you want to sleep comfortably.
Is having a few pieces of dark chocolate while watching TV before bed a good idea? Well, not really. Dark chocolate has caffeine, which can make you stay awake for longer and disturb your sleep. It also has sugar, which can give you a burst of energy and keep you up when you should be sleeping. So, it’s best to avoid dark chocolate before bedtime if you want a good night’s sleep.
After having a big steak or burger, we often feel tired and slow. Even though this might seem good when we want to sleep, red meat is not a good choice before bedtime.
Our bodies have to work really hard to digest tough foods like red meat. When we digest food, our body temperature goes up, and this can make it hard to sleep comfortably. Trotman explains that red meat, in particular, is dense and has a lot of protein, so our bodies take a long time to break it down and finish digesting it.
If you’re having dinner late, it’s better to choose something lighter like chicken or a vegetarian meal. This simple change can help you fall asleep faster and have a better night’s sleep.
What foods should I eat before bed?
If you like having a snack before bedtime, there’s some good news. You have many options that won’t disturb your sleep too much. We talked to Dr. Deborah Lee, a registered GP at Dr. Fox Pharmacy, and she shared some bedtime snacks that are safe for sleep and can satisfy your hunger cravings.
Whole wheat toast and avocado
If you’re looking for a heartier bedtime snack, this one might be a great choice. Dr. Lee suggests this small meal because whole wheat toast gives you energy gradually during the night, so you won’t have a sudden burst of energy when you least want it. Plus, the avocado has magnesium and healthy fats, which are good for you.
If you’re feeling hungry, eating some nuts can help you sleep better and give your body important nutrients. Dr. Lee says, “Walnuts and pistachios have something called melatonin. Cashews and pistachios have serotonin, and all nuts have a lot of magnesium and selenium,
If you’re not very hungry but still want something to satisfy your late-night craving, decaffeinated teas can be a good choice. For example, chamomile tea has a naturally sweet taste and can also help you relax, making it easier to fall asleep.
Eating a lot before bed isn’t recommended, but if you’re not very hungry and can wait until morning, a milky drink might be a good choice. It can make you feel full because milk has some protein, which is a satisfying nutrient. Plus, it can help you fall asleep more easily. Dr. Lee says, “Milk has something called tryptophan, which helps make the happy hormone, serotonin. Serotonin is important for releasing the sleep hormone, melatonin. which are important for good sleep.” Nuts are actually one of the best things to eat if you want to sleep well.
If you want to sleep better at night but still want a snack, it’s a good idea to choose lighter foods with less sugar and caffeine. Try to avoid the foods that aren’t good before bedtime. The nutritionists also suggest waiting at least three hours between your last meal and when you go to bed. This way, your body won’t be busy digesting your food when you’re trying to sleep.