Nothing is more annoying than the feeling you get when your stomach begins to rumble whilst you are in bed. Every individual varies and some tend to get hungry at night time more than others. However, you can still control your appetite and eat well instead of eating something unhealthy before you fall asleep.
In this article, I will introduce you to my haves-and-have-nots before bed.
Have-Nots Before Bed
Having a stimulant right before bed is certainly a sleep killer. People usually drink a mug of coffee upon waking up – not the other way around. However, it is still useful to know that coffee is one of those foods that shouldn’t be drunk so late at night. It will result in you staying up much later than intended, which can result in less sleep and a bad morning the next day. Avoid coffee before bed, so that you have a peaceful sleep. Try not to have coffee at least six hours before bedtime.
The easiest food to probably eat late at night is cereal. We all do it. Sometimes a bowl of cereal is perfect for a bedtime snack. Of course not all cereals contain sugar, but there are a majority that are high in sugar which is not so good for the body, especially when you will sleep in the next thirty minutes or so. Sugary cereals digest rapidly into the system; therefore the spike in blood sugar could throw off some of the sleep hormones, making you stay awake longer than expected. You are better off avoiding sugary cereals at night and opt for something else that contains less or no sugar at all.
Whether or not you enjoy spicy foods, it is certainly one of those foods that ought to be avoided before bed. Spicy foods do more than just stimulate your taste buds; they can also irritate your stomach, which can lead to heart burn. Consuming spicy foods can cause irritation, especially in your gut, which will make it harder for you to fall asleep. Avoid spicy foods before bed.
Pasta is probably one of those foods you eat when you are hungry. However, the issue with eating pasta so late at night is that it is a fatty food that will almost certainly lead to weight gain while you sleep. The carbohydrates in pasta turn into fat very quickly, thus making your tummy feel too full at night and making it harder for you to fall asleep.
Consuming chicken or any type of protein before bed is definitely not a good idea. This is due to the fact that digestion is supposed to slow by approximately 50% when you are sleeping, but if you eat a lot of protein it will become even slower. If chicken is eaten late at night, then instead of your body falling into sleep mode, your body will focus on the digestion. This will disturb your sleep pattern altogether; making it harder for you to fall asleep as you will feel full and may sometimes suffer from a stomach ache due to eating such a heavy meal late at night.
Good grabs before bed
You may have vague memories of your childhood where you usually drank a glass of warm milk before bedtime and you actually got a good night’s sleep from that one glass of milk. It is definitely not an old wives tale that milk helps you fall asleep quicker. Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan which is a precursor to the brain chemical serotonin; hence making it easier for a person to sleep. You can add honey to warm milk to give it a sweeter taste, or even cinnamon.
Not everyone likes them, but they are one of the most beneficial foods to eat at night before bed if you are feeling peckish. Cherries are one of the few foods that contain melatonin, which is the chemical that helps to control your body’s internal clock. Cherries, especially cherry juice can improve sleep duration and sleep quality in those individuals that may suffer from insomnia. So, next time you feel like drinking a can of Pepsi or some other fizzy drink, why not opt for something that will actually do well for your body?
Instead of going to grab a bag of crisps or a chocolate bar, indulge yourself with a handful of almonds before bed. They are a light food and will not keep you up at night. Almonds are filling and come with great health benefits, such as they reduce hunger. So anytime you want a pre bedtime snack, have a handful of almonds. You can have them raw or roasted, or even dipped into a spoon of peanut butter to give them an extra kick.
Do you want to fulfil a nagging tummy? Is your stomach making noises when all you want to do is sleep? A good night time snack is pumpkin seeds. These fulfil your cravings while at the same time helping you relax, unwind and get you ready for bed. One serving of pumpkin seeds contain almost 50 per cent of your magnesium intake. Magnesium addresses relaxation so it definitely is the best food to eat at bedtime. Even roasted pumpkin seeds work the same. So, next time you are sitting watching television before bed and you hear your stomach rumble, eat a handful of pumpkin seeds to stop those cravings.
Bananas are one of those foods that help promote sleep due to the fact that they contain the natural muscle relaxants magnesium and potassium, which help with the relaxation of the body. They are also healthy carbohydrates which initially allow you to sleep well. So, next time when you want to grab a slice of cake or bar of chocolate before bed, grab a banana and eat that instead. You will feel much better after eating a banana, which contains healthy fats and natural sugars as opposed to other snacks that are high in all the unhealthy fats and sugars.
I hope this article has made you change your mind and think twice about what you are consuming before you go to sleep.
Make healthy choices – even before you go to sleep!