The 5 foods to avoid before going to bed

So you have done everything right. You have bought the new mattress, carefully chosen with your sleep needs in mind, you have set up your sleep routine and tried to find the best sleeping pattern to fit in with your needs. You have even turned your bedroom into a sleep haven. Basically, you have done everything by the book, but when you get to bed you find yourself wide awake and often feeling uncomfortable.

Did you know that food can actually have a bad effect on your sleep? Read on to find out which foods are to blame for restlessness and insomnia.
Did you know that food can actually have a bad effect on your sleep? Read on to find out which foods are to blame for restlessness and insomnia.

 

There might have been one thing you have overlooked, and that is your before bed meals. Although many sleep tips allude to the fact that there are certain foods that you need to avoid, many of us don’t really consider what we are eating right before bed. When you are hungry the last thing you tend to think about is how the food you are eating is going to affect your sleep later during the night.

It’s tasty but is it sleep food?

There is nothing wrong with grabbing a snack before bed. The stomach rules when it is grumbling, and so you are not the only one likely to reach for that snack. But you need to be smart about what you choose to eat. Here are the 5 foods to rather not indulge in if you want peaceful sleep.

Ice cream

Ice cream can be really tempting to indulge in at night, especially in summer. But is it worth it?
Ice cream can be really tempting to indulge in at night, especially in summer. But is it worth it?

Who can really avoid the creamy, sweet goodness that comes with ice cream? During summer, ice cream can become that pre-bedtime cooling down food, while ice cream will always have the reputation of being comfort food. But what many people don’t realise is that it is not the kind of food that you want to eat just before you go to bed. Because ice cream is filled with fats and sugars, which can take some time to digest, your body will be kept awake.

Red meat

We South Africans love our red meat, even if our stomachs don't thank us afterwards and instead keep us awake.
We South Africans love our red meat, even if our stomachs don’t thank us afterwards and instead keep us awake.

The proteins found in red meat can do your body wonders, especially when you are feeling a bit downtrodden. But when eaten close to your bedtime, your body is not going to thank you for filling it with protein. The protein can take longer to break down, creating discomfort while you are trying to sleep. So give your body a little bit of peace when you head to bed and avoid the red meat.

Pasta

Pasta might be filing but it is not exactly the best food to be eating before bed.
Pasta might be filing but it is not exactly the best food to be eating before bed.

Where would we be without our easy to make and exceptionally filling pasta dishes? These days, with pre-packaged pasta readily available, a delightful meal can be quickly cooked up and enjoyed. But although this is the ultimate hungry fix meal, pasta is not always the best thing to be eating before you sleep. Pasta is full of carbohydrates that can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable. This is bound to interrupt your sleep.

Pizza

Even with the best mattress, eating pizza before bed can have an unwelcome effect on your sleep.
Even with the best mattress, eating pizza before bed can have an unwelcome efect on your sleep.

Who can really say no to that leftover pizza laying in your fridge when you start feeling a bit hungry? Pizza is not only a guilty pleasure but it is also a quick answer to a grumbling stomach. But not only is pizza a carbohydrate filled feast, but those toppings are heartburn inducing. If you would rather avoid indigestion and bloating during the night, my advice is to eat pizza earlier in the night and make sure that you have eaten enough to not feel peckish later.

Chocolate

Take it easy with the chocolate before bed.
Take it easy with the chocolate before bed.

Another guilty pleasure food that is best avoided before bed, chocolate is not only filled with sugar but it is also known to be loaded with caffeine. If there was ever a food to avoid before bed, it would be this one. It is good to mention however that chocolate will only have this kind of effect if it is consumed in large amounts.

Not only do these foods have the capability to keep you awake at night, but when eaten at night that can cause you to gain weight. Remember that you are not exercising after you treat yourself to these snacks so the calories in the food are likely to cause an increase in your weight.

Taking care of your sleep health should be your number one priority. Be sure that you are doing everything possible to get healthy sleep every night. From buying that comfortable new mattress to replace your old one, to eating right, there are plenty of things you can do to look after your health and get quality sleep.