It’s late at night, you’re nestled in front of a good movie and it’s been two hours since dinner. Though your stomach says it’s full, your head tells you differently. We all have that nasty habit of munching while watching TV, or just getting in a small snack in the late evening. Eating close to bedtime should be avoided at all costs, for anyone. Not only do they pack on the pounds faster, they can disrupt a good night’s sleep, which can lead to a series of other issues.
While it is best to stop eating two hours before sleeping, if you absolutely have to eat something, avoid the following so sleep does not become elusive:
Starch and carbohydrates often come packaged in foods that we eat in large quantities. If you are going to have pasta, bread or anything with potatoes as part of dinner, make sure dinner is well before two hours prior to bedtime. Carbohydrates convert quickly to glucose, so if you eat this and sleep soon, it will all become fat.
Avoid Greasy and Acidic Foods
Pizza and anything that is heavy in oil and tomato sauce can wreak havoc on the tummy. The acids and seasonings can conjure up heartburn and heartache, if you sleep soon after eating them. Pizzas are easy to overindulge in, so not only do you risk eating too much, you will not be able to digest it quickly enough so you can sleep peacefully.
Anything sweet will only cause problems when trying to fall asleep. Sugar spikes blood sugar levels quickly and is a stimulant. This means your brain will get zapped with a message to engage at elevated levels, leaving you restless at night and groggy the next morning.
While alcohol is a depressant that, on the surface, helps free you of tensions and relax, it can leave you jittery and on edge when it’s time to snooze. Once under the influence, you may end up tossing and turning rather than soundly slumbering.
This is because alcohol is a drug which interrupts normal brain patterns. A review of 27 studies reveals that alcohol disturbs Rapid Eye Movement sleep, or REM, which is critical for proper rest. Its diuretic qualities will also leave you sleepless, requiring trips to the bathroom that interrupt your sleep.
While fun to eat, spicy foods near bedtime should be avoided at all costs. Even if you are not old and have heartburn issues, you will feel the heat if you eat food that has that extra kick close to when it’s time for lights out. This applies to hot sauce or anything with extra chilies.
If you have to have your spice, then be sure to eat well before bedtime, and cool it off with a scoop of ice-cream or yogurt. The cooling properties of dairy products a bit after having fiery foods will negate the burning effect and may prevent the need for antacids.