What You Shouldn’t Eat Before Sleeping and Why
When you get a craving for a late-night snack, make sure you reach for foods that aren’t going to interfere with your sleep. If you occasionally struggle to fall asleep or wake up often during the night, you may want to consider keeping a food diary. This will help you notice patterns to your sleeplessness so you know exactly which foods to avoid. You may discover the foods that keep you awake at night are common culprits for many people.
Certain beverages also interfere with sleep, particularly anything that contains alcohol. While drinking a glass of wine or spirits may initially make you feel drowsy, the sensation is short-lived. That is because even when you briefly fall asleep after drinking something containing alcohol, it’s not the deep rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that you need to wake up feeling refreshed the next morning. By limiting your consumption of alcohol to after dinner rather than before bed, it is less likely to interfere with your sleep.
Cereal is Fast and Easy, but it May Cause Insomnia
It’s tempting to reach for a box of cereal when hunger strikes at night, but most cereals contain large amounts of carbohydrates. This causes a spike and drop in blood sugar, which is especially problematic if you’re diabetic or pre-diabetic. Even if you’re not, the quick changes in blood sugar don’t contribute to the relaxed state your body requires for sleep. If resisting cereal at night proves to be challenging, make sure that you select one that is low in sugar and high in whole grains.
Avoid Red Meats Right before Bed
Throwing a few steaks on the grill is practically a rite of springtime, but make sure that you eat this and any other red meat early in the evening to allow plenty of time for digestion. Due to the large amount of protein and fats present in red meat, it can take several hours to move through your body. Like alcohol, some meats can also cause brief sleepiness. However, it isn’t likely to last for more than about 15 minutes.
High-Fat Foods Cause Symptoms That Disrupt Sleep
While you should avoid consuming too much fatty or greasy food as a rule, this is especially important in the hour or two before you go to bed. Food items like donuts and French fries tend to cause heartburn, acid reflux, and stomach upset, all of which make it difficult for you to get restful sleep. If you feel like you must grab a late-night snack, choose a low fat alternative two or more hours before you plan to lie down for the night.
Pasta and Pizza
Pizza and spaghetti are easy meals to make and popular to order when going out to dinner. Like most foods, the key is to eat them in moderation and to check the time before you do so. Eating one of these favorites too close to bedtime almost guarantees that you lie awake for a few hours longer than you intended. The high amount of carbohydrates cause a rapid rise and fall of blood sugar while the high level of acidity increases the likelihood of acid reflux disrupting your sleep.