There are many things that you shouldn’t do before bed, and eating is definitely one of them. It may be hard to resist a bite of that chocolate cake in the fridge or a little bit of ice cream, but it’s best to avoid eating before bed. Even if it’s not something sweet, like crackers or chips, you still should resist the temptation of snacking before you settle in for the night.
You should try to steer clear of eating anything 4 hours before you plan on going to bed. This will give your stomach time to settle and digest your meal. Sometimes you may not have a choice. You may be running behind and have an occasional late supper here and there. That’s okay, but try not to eat a very heavy meal when you’re eating late. It will take a while to digest a three-course meal, compared to a quick bite to eat.
Stay away from acidic or spicy foods and beverages before bed too. You will definitely regret it when you are lying awake due to indigestion and heartburn. They can also cause acid re-flux which is unpleasant when you’re trying to go to sleep. You can eliminate this by not eating that spicy Thai food for supper or skipping that plate full of spaghetti.
You should also stay away from eating foods that are high in fat before bed. Once you lie down and start your sleep cycles your body will store the fat that you consumed instead of burning the fat while you are awake. This can also cause a heavy stomach. You know the feeling – it’s like you swallowed a 20-pound bowling ball. This will cause discomfort and can lead to stomach cramps.
You also should definitely lower your caffeine and alcohol intake before bed. Having caffeinated beverages during the day like coffee, tea, and energy drinks can keep you awake at night and will make it harder for your body to wind down naturally. Limit yourself and try not to drink them close to bedtime. Drinking alcohol before bed can cause depression, nightmares and affect your sleep-wake cycles. This means you will wake up frequently during the night which will leave you feeling groggy and irritable. It will also inhibit you from falling back to sleep easily.
There are so many reasons why it’s not good to eat before bed, and these are just a few. Overall, eating before bed can cause you to have a restless night, and you’ll feel miserable. Don’t do that to yourself. If you absolutely have to eat late, makes sure it’s a small serving or a healthy pre-portioned snack.
While there is a long list of foods that you should not eat before bed; there are some foods that may help you fall asleep. These bedtime friendly foods can even help promote the natural production of melatonin that your body creates during sleep. You shouldn’t make a habit out of eating late, but when you do try some of these: eggs, poultry, fish, fruit and dairy products.
Have you ever wondered why you get so sleepy after your Thanksgiving meal? It’s because of the turkey. That big bird contains tryptophan. Oats, seeds, beans and many other foods also contain tryptophan. Foods that contain tryptophan helps to promote sleep by naturally helping your body produce serotonin. Eating turkey and other tryptophan-rich foods will help you to get a good night’s sleep.
Bananas are another quick fix for that midnight snack. If you are still awake late at night and feel as if your stomach is about to eat your spine, peel a banana. They are high in magnesium and potassium, which are known to relax your muscles naturally. This easy snack will help you feel full and help you relax before bed.
There are a number of risks that come with eating before bed; from indigestion to muscle cramps and many in between. So, when possible eat no later than 8 o’clock in the evening to help your body digest prior to bedtime. You’ll be glad you did, and you will be able to get some much-needed sleep. Interrupted sleep is just as bad as no sleep, so make sure you do yourself a favor and cut out those late night meals and snacks.