Late night snacks are always a tempting treat. There’s nothing like snuggling in bed with a loved one and snacking away why you watch you favorite movies. However, bedtime snacking can be extremely unhealthy and can cause havoc with your sleep. The body doesn’t like to try and digest food while it is sleeping, and takes it as a cumbersome task, meaning the process is labored and slow and not all that effective. Although we know this, we probably will not cut bedtime snacking out altogether, so instead, try to steer clear of these foods before bed.
1. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has become a little bit of a hero among the snacking world in recent years. This is due to its good components like its heavy concentration of antioxidants. However, chocolate is also packed full of caffeine and theobromine. Both of these components are stimulants, which will make it more difficult for you to sleep. If you eat chocolate within 20 minutes of going to sleep, these components won’t kick in until later, waking you up continuously.
2. Fatty Foods
While it might be nice to cram a late night McDonald’s in before dropping off to sleep, especially after a big night on the town, this is a bad idea. Fatty foods or foods high in saturated fats are very difficult for the body to digest. While you sleep, this will cause bloating and stomach pain, which will wake you up, causing you a restless night.
Many people say that red wine makes them sleepy. However, while alcohol might send you to sleep, and a ‘nightcap’ is a legitimate trick for falling asleep, drinking heavily prevents you from getting decent sleep. The issue is that when you drink lots of alcohol, you stay in the light stages of sleep and never reach the REM phase. This is why you are so exhausted after a heavy night out.
Cheese gives you nightmares. At least that how the adage goes. This is because cheese is high in saturated fats and is, therefore, difficult for the stomach to break down during the night. The nightmares part comes because it disturbs your sleep pattern and the physical struggle of the body translates to a mental one. It might not necessarily cause nightmares, but it can lead you to have a restless night.
5. Sugary snacks
Toward the evening your blood sugar lowers slightly, as your body expends all the energy and you get ready for bed. Eating sugary snacks will spike the blood sugar, which will either keep you awake or will trigger the storage of fat in the body. This will mean that the body starts to put on weight while you sleep, as you are not using up the fuel you just gave the body.
6. Spicy foods
Spicy food can be good for decongestion but it does tend to irritate the lining of the stomach. This is why it causes indigestion. This irritation will stop the stomach from being able to digest properly, which will cause the body to have a restless night’s sleep, while most likely causing a tummy ache.
Before bed, try eating and drinking things that relax the body. A cup of chamomile tea or a supplement like ‘Relax (Holy Basil)’ will send you off to sleep more gently due to their relaxing properties, that calm the mind and unwind the muscular body. You can also try eating cherries which are a good natural source of melatonin, which helps to keep the body clock in check so you get a better night’s rest.