Eating prior bedtime not only can lead to weight gain and bad sleep, it can also result in your throat and esophagus getting damaged. You’re familiar with acid reflux, for sure. It happens when digestive juices back up into the chest or throat and trigger a burning sensation. Meanwhile, there’s also the condition called silent reflux, which varies from a usual heartburn. It has the same triggers but without the typical physiological indications. Instead of experiencing indigestion, people with silent reflux experience sore throats, chronic coughs, and swallowing problems.
In the United States, about 50 percent of the people suffer from it. They just don’t know it. The only risk factor involved in this condition is the time that you eat your dinner. As a general rule, it is recommended to have your dinner no later than three hours before you sleep. However, even if you manage to do that, know that late-night snacking can have the same negative effect. If you’re really starving and feel that your grumpy stomach won’t let you sleep anyway, at least eat something that’s okay to have before you hit the sack. Below are 7 foods that are not okay to eat before bedtime:
1. Alcoholic drinks
Alcohol soothes the valves that link the stomach and the esophagus. When this takes place, it stops the body from keeping food where it belongs. Drinking alcohol before you go to sleep basically constitutes to reflux. And while some people associate alcohol with helping them sleep, it’s actually doing more damage that it becomes tougher to get a restful sleep.
Soda is highly acidic and the acid that it contains impairs the same valves mentioned earlier. Besides, carbonation also heightens pressure in the stomach, which isn’t a nice feeling to have before tucking in for the night. So, while binge-watching a show on Netflix late at night with soda by your side seems to be the perfect way to end your day, think again.
Certain flavors of chocolates are loaded with fat, soothing the valves that connect the stomach and esophagus, as mentioned above. Plus, chocolate has caffeine and another stimulant called theobromine. With the combination of these stimulants in your system, it might make falling asleep more difficult. Many people have sweet tooth but it’s wiser to indulge in your chocolate cravings during the early part of the day. That way, you’re helping yourself get better sleep at night and you’re compromising certain bodily functions.
Cheese is also high in fat, but if it’s one of your indulgences at least indulge in Parmesan and Swiss since these two don’t generate as much as reflux effect in the body compared with softer types like feta and mozzarella. So, yes, pizza at night isn’t very good.
In terms of experiencing reflux, it doesn’t matter if it’s healthy fat you’re having. Fat is fat and it doesn’t matter if it’s saturated or unsaturated. So even though nuts have high levels of healthy fat, they should not be eaten late at night. Pistachios and almonds aren’t the worst, but walnuts and cashews are.
6. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are highly acidic. In fact, drinking a glass of orange or apple juice at night isn’t as healthy as you think because of the acid involved. These fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals, but there’s a right time to have them and late at night isn’t. On the other hand, there are some people who can eat red apples without experiencing any reflux symptoms. Hence, it depends on every individual.
Coffee is not only naturally acidic; its caffeine content also leads to more acid in the stomach. If you really need to drink a cup, at least go for the decaffeinated kind since it is less acidic.
If you’re starving at night that it bothers you, go for food items that are less acidic, such as bananas, low-sugar cereal with low-fat milk or better yet, have some chamomile tea for its relaxing effect. This tea will also make you feel satiated, so it settles your stomach. As mentioned, it’s not enough that you think foods are healthy, especially when eating before dozing off. It’s important to know what foods we can eat to satiate our hunger without generating any side effects like acid reflux.