Sometimes, you need a before-bed snack to help quiet your stomach before nodding off for the night. But the type of foods that you choose before going to bed can affect the quality of your sleep. When you open that cupboard, you want to make sure that you’re chosing foods that are good for your sleep, not snacks that will keep you tossing and turning all night.
Check out our list of tips on what to eat before bed!
Eat Right to Sleep Right: Choosing a Bedtime Snack
Make sure your midnight snack doesn’t disturb your rest by following these simple tips.
Guzzle a glass of warm milk.
Your Mom was on to something! Dairy products really do help your brain to increase production of the chemicals that make you fall asleep, such as Serotonin and Melatonin. The chemical in dairy products that causes this sleep-aiding effect is called tryptophan. You can find it in nuts, seeds, honey, and eggs, too!
Indulge in some carbs.
A dose of carbohydrates an hour before bed stimulates the release of insulin. This helps more tryptophan–that sleep-inducing chemical–make it to your brain. Some oatmeal, ceareal, or toast is a great way to head off to sleep!
Pig out at bedtime.
It turns out that eating a lot right before you try to catch some zzzs not only causes you to pack on the pounds, but also disrupts your sleep schedule. Plus, heavy, high-fat foods are more likely to cause digestion problems, and that means more trips to the bathroom during the night.
Chow down on chocolate.
We know–this one is hard! But chocolate can act as a stimulant, and stimulants are the last thing you need when you hit the pillow. Other foods that are bad for your sleep that act the same way include pork, cheese, potatoes, and tomatoes.
You might fall asleep faster after you’ve had a glass or two, but you’ll also wake up more often during the night, and you may experience night sweats, headaches, and nightmares. Wine is an extra big no-no, since it has tyramine in it like chocolate. If you do drink in the evening, it is advisable to balance each glass of alcohol with a glass of water to dilute the effects.
It’s important to remember that good eating habits and good sleep habits go hand-in-hand. For instance, getting enough sleep reduces your changes of overeating, and maintaining a healthy weight reduces your risk of developing a sleep disorder like sleep apnea. Both good sleep habits and good eating habits are important parts of a healthy lifestyle!
Are you concerned that you or a loved one may suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness?
Other posts you may find interesting:
- Best Sleep Positions
- Does My Dad Have Sleep Apnea
- Best Bedroom Color for a Good Night’s Sleep
- Is it a Ghost or Just Sleep Paralysis?
- Narcolepsy: The Science and Symptoms
Photo Credit: Eric May