Who doesn’t love an after dinner snack? Even though we love treats such as dark chocolate, it may be taking a toll on your quality of sleep. Australian dietitian, Susie Burrell, revealed on her blog that there are certain foods people should eat if they want to get a good night’s rest and particular meals that they should avoid.
“There is no doubt that there are both foods that help and hinder our sleep, consuming a massive meal close to bedtime is sure to disrupt things, while high-fat foods are known to leave us feeling tired and lethargic,” she said.
So what foods should and shouldn’t eat before bed? Well, let’s find out!
Foods That Help With Sleep
Bananas benefit your sleeping cycle mainly because of its rich nutrients, potassium and magnesium, which help with relaxation of the muscles.
“In addition, the natural carbohydrates found in bananas will gradually see a reduction in blood glucose levels which will help to induce sleep 60 minutes or so after consumption,” Susie said.
Did your mom ever leave you a hot cup of milk on your nightstand before bedtime growing up? There was a reason for this.
According to Susie, milk is a source of the amino acid tryptophan which helps produce serotonin in the body. Serotonin acts as a ‘neurotransmitter’ that naturally calms the body and helps prompts sleep. Drink up that milk, people!
Nuts are a great bedtime snack because of its rich nutrients. Every nut has a different benefit for the human body, which aids with sleep. The existence of calcium helps your brain use tryptophan to make the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin.
“It is [also] the essential fats and amino acids including tryptophan which link the consumption of nuts close to bedtime and sleep,” Susie said.
Foods That Don’t Help With Sleep
Even though this is a popular after dinner snack, especially for those healthy eaters that crave sugar, it appears to hinder your ability to sleep. The reason for this is dark chocolate contains more caffeine than regular chocolate.
“This means that enjoying your dark chocolate after dinner is not the best idea if you have difficulty falling asleep,” Susie explained.
I don’t know about you, but this is bad news to me…
Who doesn’t love a bowl of ice cream right after dinner? Even though this sounds like a good idea, it isn’t the best for your sleep cycle.
Ice cream contains lollies, which stimulates the brain rather than a relaxing it. The mix of the sugar and fat found in this famous dessert doesn’t help either.
Nothing is better than rewarding yourself after a long day at work with a juicy slice of pizza…or a pie. Even though this sounds tempting, high amounts of salt before sleep can impact it as well. Whether it be pizza, Chinese food or a cheeseburger, the high sodium from these foods will keep you up at night.
“Not only do we often have issues with ingestion, but dehydration is also common which can result in you waking regularly during the night desperate for water,” Susie explained. “Another common issue that we consider less frequently, is the MSG content of these meals, which can again leave us feeling agitated and stimulated at a time when we should be relaxing and calming down.”
Will you make these changes to your diet so you can sleep better? Maybe try eating these foods at lunchtime, that’s a start, right?