”Members of the community recently asked: Should we snack before bed and if so, what should we eat to support a better night sleep?
Reading Time: 7 Minutes
- Learn what to eat and more importantly what not to eat before bedtime
- Understand why your body reacts to certain foods and test it out
Having trouble falling asleep? Do you have a weird rumbling emanating from deep within your tummy? If your resolve is weakening to the temptation of sneaking in a bedtime snack, know that eating before bed can be a dangerous road to go down.
Making a decision late at night, can be difficult, so you might end up eating something that is probably delicious but will actually end up costing you quality sleep. Don’t worry because we’ll help you pick out the healthiest snacks to have before bedtime.
Most of us know how essential sleep is for our well-being and starting the day fresh. While you are lying awake in the dead of the night, staring at your ceiling, trying to figure out how the world works, remember this, it might be the fried chicken you had just before bed that has turned you into an insomniac philosopher.
About 41 million adults living in the United States are getting six hours or less of sleep at night. It’s no secret that not getting enough sleep leads to health risks like obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and in some cases, may even lead to an early death. Even though stress is frequently declared as the main contributing factor for insomnia, your diet has a great influence too.
Here are the nutritional dos and don’ts for a good night’s sleep.
What You Should Be Eating Before Bed
Fish sleep with their eyes open, but you’ll get some shuteye by eating halibut, salmon and, tuna. These fish contain high amounts of Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is responsible for the production of melatonin, which is a sleep-inducing hormone that controls your sleep and wake cycles. So, the more fish you eat, the more melatonin your body is able to produce and higher the likelihood of you sleeping soundly. Other good sources of Vitamin B6 include bananas, oats and, chickpeas.
Whole Grains are high in magnesium content, which is extremely important for a good night’s sleep. Eating whole-grain cereals can easily induce some yawns and help your muscles relax.
Drinking a glass of warm milk or eating yogurt just before bedtime helps relax and eliminate the stress in your body. The calcium in dairy helps your muscles relax. It might also reduce the odds of you getting up in the middle of the night for a snack because it can be pretty filling and wholesome.
Eating cherries or having cherry juice has been proven to help with sleep. Taking cherry juice before bedtime helps your body release melatonin. So, don’t be surprised if you start dozing off on the couch during your nighttime browsing binge. It’s a fun and delectable way to cure insomniacs and make them sleep like a baby!
Munching on almonds before bedtime helps your body produce magnesium and tryptophan. Both of these are essential for sleep since they relax the muscles and reduce nerve function. They bring a steady rhythm to your heart which can help make you sleepy.
All of these foods are great to munch on at night, but don’t go in excess. Regardless of the health benefits, these snacks still have carbs and sugar which stimulate your body. Keep it in moderation or you’ll still be up half the night.
Foods to Avoid Before Bedtime
If someone was to ever produce an “I don’t want to sleep tonight” starter kit, they’d fill it with these foods. You should not be eating these foods before trying to sleep, no matter what you’re doing the next day.
Consuming fried food is a bad idea because all that fat in your belly needs acid to be digested. This acid can spill into your esophagus and cause a feeling of heaviness in your chest or heartburn.
Even it hasn’t been dipped in fry oil, avoiding all types of oily and salty foods before bed is a good plan of action. They are bound to kill your sleep and make your night uncomfortable.
Coffee is absolutely awful before bedtime. Does this even need to be said? Especially, since we all rely on coffee to do the exact opposite of sleep, every single day. The caffeine in coffee travels immediately to your brain and stimulates the Central Nervous System, keeping you alert and awake.
Try to avoid drinking any form of coffee after 6 P.M. so you don’t have trouble sleeping. Pay attention to how coffee affects you. Some people need to have a much earlier cut off so they can still sleep soundly. In fact, dark chocolate and energy drinks like Red Bull also contain caffeine and should be avoided before going to bed.
Hope this quick list helps you make a well-informed decision of what to munch on the next time you find yourself clad in your PJ’s, rummaging through your fridge. Happy snacking!
MWi would like to thank David Klose, for his expert insights shared in this article.
To read the original article please follow this link:
David Klose is a Certified Sleep Science Coach who is a full-time writer focused on sleep health and the mattress industry. David has personally tested hundreds of mattresses and is obsessed with helping others find their perfect sleep solution.
Through his research, David has learned about other contributing factors to getting a good night’s sleep – such as diet and exercise. He now focuses on writing articles to help improve the reader’s quality of life.