You often read and hear about the importance of eating healthy and nutritious foods. However, it is not only the calorie quotient and nutrient quotient of a food is what you need to think about. The timing of eating the food can also play a role in digestion and absorption of nutrients. You need to be especially careful about the foods you intake before going to bed at night, say the nutrition experts. More than what you eat at dinner, the foods that you intake sometime before hitting the bed play pivotal roles in digestion and sleep. It is important that you know which types of foods to avoid before going to bed.
Below listed are 7 foods that you should not intake before sleeping at night:
You may love gorging on Turkey roast at the Thanksgiving dinner and that is what most people do during the festive days. However, eating turkey or poultry meat based snacks before sleeping is a bad idea- say the diet experts. The protein intake makes the brain create dopamine and that does not let you sleep easily. If you want animal protein, gorge on salmon at dinner time, which is good for sleep.
Some people feel drinking red wine before hitting the bed is good for sleep but the reality is quite different. As you try to sleep, the liver has a hard time removing alcohol from the system. This makes the heart beat faster and sleep comes late. This is actually true about any alcoholic beverage. That is why people get into a semi drowsy state after consuming alcohol late at night.
You may have heard about the numerous health benefits of eating green vegetables and those are quite true. However, eating several vegetable dishes at night is not a very prudent idea. This is because most vegetables you eat contain a lot of fiber. Fiber takes much longer to get digested and that essentially keeps you awake for long.
It is hard to find men and women who do not love gorging on chocolate in various forms! There are some health benefits of eating dark chocolates. However, eating any type of chocolate at late night is not advisable- more so if you want to have deep sleep. Chocolate in any form contains a fair amount of caffeine, which prevents your brain from getting sleepy. It also contains theobromine- a compound that enhances alertness and heart rate. Just like you want to avoid coffee before hitting the bed- evade chocolate too!
You may have cravings for cheese laden pizza with vegetable or meat toppings at times. However, do not eat any type of pizza when it is time to hit the bed! The tomato sauce in pizza is quite acidic and the additives are sure to cause sleepless nights. The calorie intake is another issue.
6. Orange Juice
Eating fruits before sleeping is not bad, but it is better you avoid eating citrus fruits and juices. Orange juice in particular should be avoided before you hit the bed. The citrus fruits are quite acidic and may cause problems for those with acid reflux problems. You may try eating an apple instead.
Coffee contains a high amount of caffeine and this ingredient is ideal to keep you awake. This is true even for the winter nights when you feel a cup of hot coffee is the perfect thing! Ideally, drink coffee until late afternoon to ensure you get profound sleep at night. Whether it is coffee with or without cream- the result will be same.
What else you should avoid eating at bedtime
There are some other foods which should not be eaten at bedtime as well. These include:
1. Fatty foods
Eating fatty foods at late night is a bad idea since Dietary fats take very long to get digested. You may try eating such foods between two meals when you are awake but not at bedtime. So, avoid milk, flavored yogurt, avocado, and butter at bedtime. The worst of them all is cheese- in any form. For the same reason, evade eating bacon at late night. It is after all a fatty meat and can cause digestive issues. It also contains stimulating chemical tyramine, which does not let you feel sleepy easily.
If you have a sweet tooth, eating a bowl of cereal before bedtime may seem a good idea but actually it is not so! The flavored cereals contain good amount of carbohydrates and sugar. This puts a load on the digestive system and you end up staying awake for long. It is ideal for consumption at breakfast.
3. Ice cream
A lot of people love gorging on ice cream-anytime of the day. However, doing so at bedtime is not a great thing to do. Ice creams contain a good amount of sugar and fat- which puts load on the digestive system in your body. Besides, chocolate flavored ice creams contain caffeine, which also keeps you awake at night.
4. Spicy foods
Do not eat any kind of spicy foods, especially those containing a lot of chili before sleeping. These foods boost your heart rate- to begin with. Besides, eating these foods often leads to onset of acidity and you may end up with heartburn and pain.
Packed chips are preferred for eating while watching TV soaps or movies, but they are not ideal for consumption late at night. These chips contain monosodium glutamate – an ingredient which prevents sleep from setting in properly.
Summing it all up
As a matter of fact, you should not intake any food or drink beverage before bedtime that impacts the digestive system adversely and keep nerves alert. Not all such foods, including snacks and packed foods are actually unhealthy for your system and you can eat them at other times of the day. You also need to be careful about eating foods at night when you have stomach problems or acid reflux issues.