Jun 9, 2021
The 5 Worst Things To Eat (or Drink) Before Bed
Eating before bed isn’t always a bad thing. Some herbs (chamomile, valerian) and fruits (kiwi, bananas) actually help you fall asleep. If you want to enjoy long and refreshing slumber, though, there are certain foods you should definitely avoid before bedtime.
- Ice Cream
Does your family have a habit of serving up a big bowl of ice cream late at night? While spending time as a family is great, eating ice cream right before bedtime isn’t. Ice cream has tons of sugar, which fuels your cells with energy. That’s the last thing you want when you’re trying to unwind in preparation for bed.
You may also notice an unpleasant side effect the next day: sugar cravings. Eating junk food the night before can increase your hunger in the morning, and it makes you specifically hungry for high-fat, high-sugar foods.
After leaving a late-night movie showing with friends, your first impulse may be to swing through a drive-thru for some burgers and French fries. Unfortunately, fast-food burgers and other greasy offers are packed with saturated fat.
This type of food takes your stomach forever to digest. High amounts of fat also mess with your digestive hormones, basically telling your body that it’s time to work, not sleep. You end up tossing and turning all night long.
- Caffeinated Drinks
There’s nothing bad about drinking coffee or cola as long as it’s a few hours before bed, right? Wrong. Caffeine blocks your body’s sleep hormone completely, and that’s not the worst of it. It takes your body approximately six hours to clear out most of the caffeine from your system.
A single can of cola too close to bedtime can cause insomnia and restlessness all night long! Some people are so sensitive to it that drinking any coffee after noon is a mistake.
Another nighttime favorite with partygoers, Mexican food can do a triple whammy on your sleep quality: heartburn, indigestion and hot flashes. Researchers believe that spicy peppers increase your body’s core temperature, so you may feel too hot to sleep. Avoid spicy foods at least two hours before bed. This includes nachos, potato chips and hot wings.
Time for a redouble. The #1 worst food for eating before bedtime also happens to be America’s #1 favorite food: pizza. Indulging in a big pizza pie when the moon is up high is practically guaranteed to trigger insomnia for several reasons:
- Tomato sauce: Tomatoes are one of the worst foods for causing acid reflux.
- Meats and cheeses: The cheap ingredients of most pizzas are packed with fat and grease.
- Carbs: Most people don’t just eat one slice. Pizza has a tendency to make you feel really full.
Plus, this super combo of calories adds a lot to your waistline. When you take in so many carbs late at night, your body isn’t able to burn them up. Instead, they get stored as fat. Moreover, not sleeping increases your stress levels, causing you to gain even more weight.
This doesn't mean you can't calm your stomach's midnight growling. Instead of fatty, greasy or sugary foods, choose low-fat protein. Nuts or Greek yogurt are an excellent choice.