Have you ever felt like you were too hungry to sleep or like a snack would really help you fall asleep faster? But you can’t eat before bed, that’s bad for your health, right? Well, that answer sort of varies. There are a few items that can enhance your sleep, while others should be avoided.
Recipes For Better Sleep
There is a common misconception that eating before bed is bad because that's when your metabolism slows down, so all those extra calories will just get packed on. However, there’s no evidence that your metabolism slows. You’re hungriest during the evening, making it easier to overeat and consume too many calories.
Plus, eating a large meal or continuously snacking while watching TV after dinner can cause cramping, discomfort, and acid reflux. To avoid that burning acid in the back of your throat as you lay down don’t eat three hours before bedtime and avoid trigger foods such as chocolate, spicy foods, and caffeine.
On the other hand, a small snack before bedtime could help you stay full and prevent you from waking up in the middle of the night due to being hungry. However, if the snack has a lot of carbs or sugar it could cause your blood sugar to spike and you might wake up feeling hungrier when it drops.
What To Eat Before Bed:
Tea: Skip the snack and brew yourself a relaxing cup of hot tea instead. Just make sure it’s caffeine free. Ginger tea can help soothe and relax your digestive tract for sleep, valerian root is a natural relaxant, lavender can induce drowsiness, lemon reduces stress, and honey can release melatonin in the brain. All of these options either combined on their own can provide better sleep.
Warm Milk: That’s right, warm milk before bed is the real deal. Milk and other dairy products contain protein as well as an amino acid called tryptophan which can help induce sleep. Plus, it has melatonin to help you properly go through your sleep cycles. But why warm it up? Because warm milk raises your internal body temperature to help calm and relax you.
Bananas: Bananas can be an energy-boosting snack, but they can also help your body wind down for sleep. They are high in magnesium the help your muscles relax, serotonin, and melatonin. Bananas are the perfect snack anytime!
Almonds Or Walnuts: This may sound nutty, but certain nuts are great for snoozing. Almonds have magnesium and melatonin to reduce stress and boost sleep. Walnuts are high in protein to reduce appetite and fatty acids to help promote great sleep.
Turkey: Do you feel tired after that big Thanksgiving meal? That’s because turkey can help you sleep! It’s high in protein to regulate your appetite and tryptophan which increases the natural production of melatonin.
What To Avoid Before Bed:
Alcohol: Alcohol may make you feel drowsy but don’t fall under its spell. It throws off your sleep cycles and prevents you from getting REM sleep, the deepest stage of sleep. So even though it may help you go to sleep faster it may cause you to receive less restorative rest. You may wake up feeling drowsy, fatigues, unable to concentrate, and with a hangover!
Red Meat: I know we’ve been boasting about the benefits of protein before bed, but red meat is hard to digest. It could cause stomach cramps and discomfort too close to bedtime. Plus, it can cause acid reflux. Steak and hamburger meat should be eaten at least three hours before bed.
Orange Juice: Although orange juice is a delicious and comforting source of vitamin C, save it for the morning. It’s highly acidic and could lead to acidic reflux before bed, plus its extremely high in sugar!
Chocolate: Who can resist a little chocolate in the evening? Cookies, ice cream, a dark chocolate bar, and more can calm your sweet tooth, but is it worth the risk? Chocolate contains caffeine, which can really prevent proper sleep cycles. The darker you go, the higher the caffeine.
So? Can I Eat Before Bed?
Yes, if you’re hungry go ahead and have a small snack before putting on your CPAP mask. Just make sure it’s the right snack to help you relax and drift off to dreamland. The wrong snacks can prevent you from falling asleep, disrupt your sleep cycles, and even cause you to wake up during the night.