Best and Worst Things to Eat Before Bed
You’re hungry, but it’s almost bedtime. What should you do? Should you indulge your sweet tooth or should you try to forgo until the morning? According to nutritionists, it’s actually best not to go to bed with your tummy grumbling. Having an empty stomach will lead you to toss and turn, listening to your angry stomach. Even though you’re cutting back on calories, an empty stomach at night can cause weight gain due to your poor sleep. What you should do is eat a light snack around 200 cal about 2 hours before bed—but what to eat?
- Chocolate—This sweet treat is full of sugar and hidden caffeine. The cocoa bean that chocolate is made from is high in energy producing caffeine. Even though it loses some of its caffeine during the refining stages, there’s enough left over to keep you up at night.
- Fats—Fats are a necessary part of our diet, but even good fats can cause problems for our sleep. Dietary fats take a long time to digest, which means our stomachs are going to be working extra hard throughout the night. All that churning will keep you up, while you want to be sleeping. Avoid things like avocado, milk, yogurt, ice cream, and cheese for a better night’s sleep.
- Acidic Foods—Foods that are spicy or high in acid content can cause several problems. When you lay down to sleep, these intense foods can cause painful acid reflux giving you a burning sensation in your chest and throat. No one wants to sleep like that. Spicy foods also kick-start your metabolism. This is great for during the day, but not when you want to wind down. Spicy foods are not burn your tongue, but they make you literally hot. Your core temperature will rise with spicy food. Before and during sleep, your body lowers your core temperature to keep you in deep sleep throughout the night. With a higher body temperature, you’ll struggle getting or staying asleep.
- Alcohols—There are some heart health benefits to a drink now and then, but make sure it’s well before bed. Alcohol can make you drowsy, but it disrupts sleep your natural sleep pattern. When you drink before bed, you don’t get the deep reparative sleep of the REM cycles.
- Bananas—Bananas are excellent for calming your whole body down, while giving you a filling boost of quick digesting sugars. This sweet fruit is high in Potassium, which is perfect for relaxing muscles. They also contain tryptophan, which helps the body regulate good sleep hormones. Bananas are excellent sources of fiber, and they taste great too. All around, a winner.
- Whole Grains—You may have heard lots of things about grains recently. Yes, grains are carbs, and some forms contain gluten—but not all carbs are bad. Good carbs are full of unbleached, nutrient-rich grains. They are high in fiber to keep you feeling full, and they aid in releasing seratonin and melatonin, which are the two most important sleep hormones.
- Eggs—Having a hard-boiled egg, or a few scrambled eggs a little before hitting the sack can keep your stomach happy all through the night. Eggs are an excellent source of protein that your stomach can digest quickly, and can level out your blood sugar. By having a steady stream of blood sugar all night, you won’t wake to a growling stomach.
- Kiwi—This amazing fruit has plenty of antioxidants and serotonin producing qualities. Norway scientists did a study that revealed that those with insomnia slept better after eating kiwi. It’s possible it’s also related to folate levels. Those with insomnia usually don’t have high folates, and kiwis are rich in this vitamin.
Whatever snack you choose to go with, make sure not to overeat. Keep things simple and light, and you should be off to dreamland in no time!