While everyone knows that there are foods that should be avoided before bed, it can be hard to find out which ones these are with all sorts of opinions. We’ve compiled a list so that you can be sure you’re eating properly before bed, in order to get the best night sleep possible.
So, what foods should be avoided?
Foods that contain a lot of fat, like bacon cheeseburgers, aren’t great to eat right before bed. This is because fat stimulates the production of acid in the stomach, which can lead to heartburn – leading to an uncomfortable sleep.
Alcoholic drinks, such as wine and beer, metabolise very quickly in your system, which can cause you to wake up multiple times during the night. As well as this, a study found that drinking alcohol before bed can reduce sleeping time by 19 minutes, and also lead to a lower quality of sleep. Plus, even if you’re not worried about your own sleep, alcohol makes you snore more, so your partner might not like it!
One that everyone can agree on, caffeine, from things like coffee and energy drinks, is a central nervous stimulant and can keep you awake. Though everyone has a different sensitivity to caffeine, and can grow accustomed to it depending on how much and often you have it, it’s still best to avoid it close to bed time.
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is a bad idea right before bed. This is due to it containing caffeine, as well as theobromine, which can increase heart rate and sleeplessness.
Food that contains heavy spices, like curries, can keep you awake at night. A study in Australia found that young men who ate their dinner with Tabasco sauce and mustard had greater trouble falling asleep, and experienced less of a deep sleep than men who ate less spicy dinners. As well as this, spices can cause heartburn, which can lead to an uncomfortable night and morning after, and they raise your body temperature, which can cause nightmares.
Highly acidic foods, like tomato sauce, can cause heartburn and indigestion – which won’t make for a comfortable night’s sleep.
Lots of protein
Eating a lot of food that is high in protein, like red meats and chicken, slow digestion, so while you’re trying to sleep, your body is focused on digesting, which may make falling asleep difficult, and will definitely make sleeping uncomfortable. However, you can counteract this by eating carbohydrates alongside your protein.
These vegetables, which include broccoli and cauliflower, are similar to protein, and take a while to digest, which can make for an uncomfortable night’s sleep.
Another one that everyone can agree on, sugary foods or drinks, like soda, juice or sweets, can keep you awake when you’d rather be sleeping if eaten too close to bedtime.
Too much water
Though this one may seem surprising, it’s often that people find themselves waking up in the middle of the night with a full bladder. This is because they drank too much water before bed. So, while having water before bed is still fine, try hydrating more throughout the day so that you don’t have to drink too much before bed.