Getting good, consistent sleep is hard enough in this day and age. So much in our lives demands our time and energy. But in order to fully give ourselves to what matters- we need sleep. However, are you sabotaging yourself by eating or drinking things that are only making it that much harder for you to shut down and sleep well?
Though some “comfort food” might make us feel happy in those moments before sleep, the truth is that say, ice cream, is full of sugar that won’t let us sleep deeply or peacefully. So, what should you stay away from? Check out the five worst foods for sleep below.
This one feels super obvious to me BUT did you know it might be hiding in some of our go-to nightcaps and after-hours snack, like chocolate and black tea. Caffeine can stay in your system for up to eight hours, which is why “many experts recommend having your last cup of joe before 5 P.M. (or earlier, depending on when you go to bed).”
While a couple of drinks might knock you out, the sleep isn’t restful; you’ll likely be in the lighter stages of sleep for longer and you might wake up more during the night.
“Sugar—especially the added kind, the source of many of our healthy eating-related woes—is famous for its energizing qualities, which is exactly the opposite of what you want before bedtime. Laura Manning, R.D., clinical nutrition coordinator in the department of gastroenterology at The Mount Sinai Hospital, tells SELF that lots of sweet stuff can give you an energy spike, one that may make it harder for you to sleep. If you want a dessert before bed, consider something like cherries or kiwifruit, which recent research has suggested can contribute to better sleep thanks to chemicals like melatonin and serotonin. And if you do decide to indulge in some fruit, consider pairing it with something high in protein to help your body digest the sugar from the fruit more slowly so you don’t up experience that energy spike,” the article reports.
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4. Spicy and high-acid foods
Because you are more likely to experience acid reflux during sleep, when you’re lying down, eating foods that are very spicy or full of acid – two things that are already more likely to cause reflux or heartburn- will only compound the problem.
5. Things that are already hard to digest, like fibrous or cruciferous vegetables
Fibrous foods like beans and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are a bit harder on your stomach because they contain indigestible sugars- oligosaccharides and raffinose- that can cause bloating and gassiness when eaten in excess.
If you’ve eaten a bunch of food like this and then you try to lie down to sleep, you may end up with acid reflux, heartburn, or some kind of stomachache. And all those things can prevent you from getting a good nights sleep.
So, what should you eat? Check out the video below: