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11 Foods To Avoid Before Sleeping!

By Faraz khan +2 more

Our mid-night cravings increase in these cold days of winter. This changing environment can also affect the way you sleep. But did you know that food affects your sleep too? Well, yes, it does!

A list of foods not good for sleep

It is necessary to know which food affects your health negatively. Some foods consumed at bedtime can hold you back from getting a good sleep in the night.

How food affects your body?

Your busy life affects your body which ultimately decides how well you sleep. Your food intake also affects your health and sleep.

Many research suggests that a night of disturbed sleep can lead you to crave more unhealthy snacks and junk food the next day. So, be choosy while selecting your food before bed as it may affect your sleep. Here are some foods you should not eat before going to bed.

Foods That You Should Avoid Before Bed:

Dark Chocolate 

Dark chocolate is a sneaky devil. It is because of the presence of caffeine and amino acids in it. Amino acids in chocolate keep you up at night, making your next day dull. Dark chocolate doubles the energy, making it a much better snack for the afternoon than the middle of the night.

Ice-cream 

Ice-cream is a favourite dessert that we usually love to eat before sleep. A bowl full of ice-cream can be tempting but the sugar present in it may hamper your sleep later. It has a lot of fat and even low-fat ice-creams can be high in sugar that can take time to digest.

So your body is not able to rest well while it is still digesting foods. Candy bars, ice creams, cakes, etc., are all a big NO for mid-night cravings.

Sugar 

Sugar is the main culprit in every food that can affect your sleep. Sugar surges your energy level to spike, keeping you from falling asleep quickly. High sugar content in every food can be a sleep disruptor than a sleep supporter.

Also Read: 10 Ways in Which Sugar Harms The Body

Coffee 

We all know that coffee can keep you awake for a longer time in the night. Caffeine can remain in your system for hours, so it’s best to avoid it for several hours before going to bed. Caffeine can stimulate the central nervous system and its effects can last anywhere from 8 to 14 hours, so make sure to keep your sleep in mind when you’re thinking about having a cup of coffee.

I may advise you to avoid consuming certain foods before sleep, such as fast food, instant noodles, and confectionaries. Research suggests that individuals who have shorter sleep durations or poor sleep quality tend to consume more of these unhealthy food options. So, to promote better sleep and overall health, it’s recommended to avoid these food choices before bedtime.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Tyramine Rich Foods: Understanding the Impact on Your Health

Cheese 

Have you heard that one gets weird dreams after eating cheese in the night? Yes, it might be possible. Cheese is rich in amino acid-tyramine that can keep your brain alert for a longer time. So despite our fondness for a post-dinner cheese-board, chowing down will only make it harder for you to fall asleep.

Red Meat & Chicken 

They are rich in animal-based proteins that take a lot of energy to digest and lengthening this process could throw your sleep schedule out of whack.

This protein contains amino acid-tyrosine that promotes brain activity. If you pair them with spices, it will boost your metabolism and serve as a wake-up call for the body, making it increasingly difficult to fall asleep.

Alcohol 

Yes, you may feel drowsy after gulping a glass of wine or beer but it harms your sleep patterns. Drinking alcohol right before bed can make your quality of sleep suffer. Research shows that drinking alcohol before bed can make you more likely to wake up throughout the night. Alcohol can also lead to snoring since it is a potent muscle relaxer.

Beer drinkers also tend to have to get up every 2 to 3 hours after going to bed to go to the bathroom due to the excess of liquids consumed after dinner.

Pizza

One of the classic mid-night craving foods is out of the list now! Eating pizza before bed is not the best option, no matter how tasty it is. Cheese is rich in fat, and tomato sauce is acidic, making this popular late-night dish the wrong thing to eat before bed.

Tomatoes 

Tomatoes are in the blacklist because they are highly acidic and may cause heartburn or indigestion. They contain tyramine, a type of amino acid that increases brain activity and delays sleep.

Also Read: 10 Foods & Drinks That Help You Sleep

Diuretic Food 

Diuretic foods mean foods that induce excess urination. Celery, carrots, cucumber, ginger, watermelons and alcohol are all diuretic foods. They should be skipped before going to bed because they make you get up to pee repeatedly. Getting up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet can adversely affect the quality of your sleep.

Water 

Drinking too much water can interrupt your sleep significantly. As much as water you drink, you have to wake for the toilet multiple times. Instead, start to taper off your fluid intake about three hours before bedtime.

I would suggest avoiding consuming red pepper before sleep. Research has shown that red pepper might increase your body temperature, which may make it harder for your body to cool down naturally during sleep. When you’re too hot, it might interfere with the body’s ability to transition to a comfortable sleeping temperature.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Also Read: Opting For Healthy Noodles: A Comprehensive Guide

General tips on foods to avoid before sleep

  • Avoid heavy foods that are not easy to digest, also avoid large meals when it’s late.
  • Apart from coffee, many other food items contain caffeine which can result in sleeplessness (such as tea, energy drinks, certain chocolates).
  • Like caffeine, tyramine also acts as a stimulant and disrupts sleepy feelings so avoid tyramine-rich foods like soya sauce, tomatoes and certain cheeses.
  • Spicy and acidic foods can cause heartburn and acidity which may prevent you from falling asleep.

Now, you have an idea about what simple food can do with our sleep. So, be cautious while eating anything before going to bed. Also, one small thing that could help you to sleep peacefully is the perfect dinner time! It is advisable to have your meals at least 3 hours before bedtime.

Also Read: How Many Hours of Sleep Do You Need?

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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