Eating before bed can impact your sleep quality and cause digestive issues. However, it's important to note that going to bed hungry can also disrupt sleep, so it's essential to find a balance between satisfying hunger and avoiding heavy, difficult-to-digest meals. Here are some foods to eat and avoid before sleeping:
Foods to eat before sleeping
Cherries are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycle. In addition to melatonin, cherries also a good source of other sleep-promoting nutrients, such as potassium and magnesium. These minerals can promote the feelings of calmness and relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
Bananas are high in potassium and magnesium, which can help relax muscles and promote sleep. Besides, bananas are also rich in tryptophan, precursor to serotonin that regulates mood and sleep.
3. Warm milk
Warm milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that converts into serotonin, which can promote sleep and relaxation. Moreover, calcium in the milk can help the brain to use tryptophan to produce melatonin, which can promote relaxation and better sleep.
4. Whole-grain crackers or toast
Whole-grain crackers or toast with a small amount of peanut butter or almond butter can provide a slow-release of carbohydrates, which can help stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent hunger pangs.
5. Herbal tea
Chamomile, valerian root, and lavender tea are all known for their calming properties and can help promote sleep.
Foods to avoid before sleeping
1. Spicy foods
Spicy foods can cause heartburn and digestive discomfort, making it difficult to sleep. On top of that, many spicy foods are also highly acidic, which can irritate the stomach and cause discomfort, leading to sleep disturbances.
2. Fatty or fried foods
Fatty or fried foods are high in fat and can take longer to digest, which can cause discomfort and digestive issues such as bloating and indigestion. These symptoms can disrupt sleep and make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
Although alcohol can initially make you feel drowsy and help you fall asleep faster, it can disrupt your sleep cycle, leading to poor sleep quality and waking up frequently throughout the night. Alcohol also a diuretic, which means it can cause dehydration and lead to more frequent trips to the bathroom during the night, further disrupting sleep.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake. Even small amounts of caffeine can affect sleep quality, leading to restless or fragmented sleep. Avoid caffeine-containing drinks such as coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate.
5. High-sugar foods
High-sugar foods can cause a surge in blood sugar levels, leading to a surge of energy and making it harder to fall asleep. Additionally, this spike in blood sugar levels can be followed by a sudden drop in blood sugar, causing feelings of hunger and potentially waking you up during the night.
Overall, it's best to avoid large meals before sleeping and opt for a light snack if needed. It's also important to listen to your body and avoid foods that may cause discomfort or indigestion. If you struggle with sleep, it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional for guidance.