5 Foods To Avoid Before Bed

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You might think sleep is an inevitable part of life—when you get tired, you just fall asleep, right? It is not quite as simple as that. Even when your body is tired, your mind can make you restless and vice versa. In fact, everything you do during the day plays a hand in how you sleep that night, even what you eat. 

There are a variety of things you can do to get a better night of sleep. Putting down your electronics, hitting the gym, keeping your bedroom dark and cool, and maybe even getting a mattress that doesn’t cause aches and pains are a few simple ways to catch some quality zzz’s. 

But if you are serious about your sleep health, you should also consider your consumption habits before bedtime. As enticing as those sweet and spicy treats can be, they are harming you more than you think. 

Here are 5 foods to avoid before bed so you can sleep peacefully

1. Sugary Cereal 

It is a wonder cereal is considered a breakfast food. Forget Lucky Charms at 8 a.m., but at 10 o’clock at night, nothing sounds better. Sadly, the greatest late-night snack of all time just got a whole less great. Sugary cereal causes your blood sugar to spike. This spike will likely mess with your sleep hormones, making it harder to fall and stay asleep. And when you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body will crave these same sugary foods over and over again. 

2. Chocolate 

Sad, but true—chocolate is bad for our sleep. This is primarily due to the caffeine this sweet treat contains. 

Caffeine is a stimulant very similar to adenosine, the hormone that keeps you awake during the day. When your body gets even the tiniest hit of caffeine, you are communicating to your body, “stay awake.” 

If you wouldn’t down a pot of coffee before bedtime, you probably shouldn’t eat a bar of chocolate either. The good news is that white chocolate doesn’t contain caffeine. So if you can’t go on without that chocolate fix, go for white. 

3. Spicy Foods 

Research shows that a spicy meal before bed can indeed lead to poor sleep. In one study, men who ate meals containing Tabasco sauce in the evening took longer to fall asleep and got less sleep overall than on nights they did not consume spicy foods. 

One of the reasons this happens is because spicy foods increase body temperature. At night, our core body temperature is supposed to drop one to two degrees. This reduction in body temp helps us fall and stay asleep. When it stays elevated, it’s tougher to fall asleep. Hence the reason sleep is seemingly impossible when you have a fever. 

4. Alcohol 

This one may be a bit surprising considering having a few drinks at night makes most feel like cuddling up and hitting the hay. But while a glass or two of wine might initially make you sleepy, alcohol actually disrupts your natural sleep patterns. Regularly consuming alcohol (especially before bedtime) can worsen your sleep quality. 

Yes, moderate to high doses of alcohol help you fall asleep faster, but they also increase sleep disruption later on in the night. The result? You are jerked out of the sleep you need most: REM sleep, which is the most deep and restorative stage of sleep. 

5. Pizza 

Pizza is the go-to late-night bite for most, but this fatty, acidic deliciousness is the perfect recipe for poor sleep. While the acidic tomato sauce can cause upset tummies and late- night bathroom runs, the cheese can give you nightmares. Not to mention, this is a heavy meal that makes your body work hard to digest when it really just wants to rest. 

Although this list is painful to read, remember these are foods to avoid close to bedtime, not forever! While there are many things not to eat, there are plenty of yummy nighttime snacks that can actually improve your sleep. Next time you’re yearning for a treat, opt for lavender or chamomile tea, peanut butter toast, or a handful of white chocolate chips, nuts, or cherries. Swapping wine and ice cream for tea and toast before bedtime might just save your sleep.

Getting a better night's sleep will improve your health and fitness levels. It will also help you wake up with purpose!

I hope you enjoyed this article about the foods that should be avoided before going to bed to boost health while spending less money

Interested in more articles about improving you sleep habits? 

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