We all snack before bed sometimes, but what you eat can actually sabotage your night’s sleep. It’s obvious that you shouldn’t eat a bowl of coffee ice cream right before you hit the hay, but there are a number of other foods that can leave you tossing and turning.
To help you get your full eight hours of sleep each night, here are five foods a nutritionist says to avoid before bed.
You might be tempted to nibble on some spicy chips and dip, but this can totally mess with your ability to fall asleep. “Spices like cayenne and Tabasco get their metabolism-boosting properties from capsaicin, which can trigger heartburn in sensitive individuals,” says Carol Aguirre, a licensed dietitian and nutritionist. “The thermogenic properties can increase the body’s core temperature. Your body core temperature naturally decreases as you get ready to sleep, and raising it can cause you to feel more awake and struggle with staying asleep.”
Chocolate may be your go-to dessert, but it contains caffeine, especially if you’re opting for dark chocolate. “Chocolate bars have varying amounts of caffeine, but an average two-ounce, 70% dark chocolate bar contains around 79 milligrams — over half of what’s in an eight-ounce cup of coffee,” says Aguirre.
Even if you’re choosing a caffeine-free soda, a bubbly beverage still isn’t best before bed. “[In addition to] its alarming side effects, it’s also horrible for falling asleep,” says Aguirre. “It’s full of sugar, which leaves you wide awake and has even been connected to restless sleep.”
Burgers, loaded burritos, and ice cream are tasty, but they are best enjoyed earlier in the day. “These high-fat foods take longer to digest and will keep your body up working rather than relaxing,” says Aguirre. “Fatty foods often cause bloating and indigestion that interferes with a good night’s rest. This leads to a poor sleep pattern, so you wake up the next morning without feeling refreshed.”
Cured meats and cheese
“Cured meats and cheeses are not great for dinner or late-night snacks,” says Aguirre. “Cured meats and cheeses contain tyramine, an amino acid that makes you more alert.” If you’re craving cheese, opt for a soft one instead, as hard, aged cheeses contain the most tyramine.
xx, The FabFitFun Team