As you wind down for the day and get ready for bed, you may come to the realization that the soup and salad you had hours earlier for dinner just wasn’t enough to keep those hunger pangs at bay. There’s something about late night snacking that makes it so satisfying, but it’s not necessarily the healthiest habit we can partake in. If you want to eat a snack shortly before bed, make sure you know which foods are best and worst so it doesn’t end up interfering with the quality of your sleep or your overall health.
Keep it Light
I’ve been using the word “snack” as opposed to “meal” for a reason. Unless you’ve literally gone all day without eating any food – and if that’s the case, you probably have bigger things to worry about – try not to indulge in heavy, rich foods and meals shortly before going to sleep. Eating too much food right before bed can cause issues with your digestive system, which may in turn cause you to toss and turn throughout the night while experiencing ailments such as heartburn and stomach cramps.
The Foods to Snack On
Lucky for us, there are loads of foods out there that we can munch on late at night without having to worry about negative effects on our digestion or sleep. When it comes to fresh fruit, cherries and kiwi are your best bet to turn to if you’re craving something sugary or sweet. Cherries naturally contain the hormone melatonin, which is responsible for regulating your sleep cycle. Kiwi provides the hormone serotonin, which has been linked with proper rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
If you’re craving something a little more substantial, opt for milk and cereal. Milk contains tryptophan, which tends to make us sleepy. As for the cereal, avoid sugary options, and stick with grain-based cereals. You may want to consider drinking valerian root tea as well, for a natural calming sleep inducer.
The Foods to Avoid
You should be avoiding caffeinated products, for obvious reasons. This includes coffee, soda, and chocolate. Spicy foods are another big no-no, mostly because they can cause a serious case of heartburn which won’t exactly be conducive to falling asleep. Spicy foods can also raise your core body temperature; given that sleep lowers your temperature, having it raised before bedtime may make it harder to fall asleep.
You’ll also want to avoid drinking too much water, since this may cause you to run to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.