You may have heard that you shouldn’t eat after dinner. That doing so will cause weight gain, heartburn, and maybe even bad dreams. It is true that you don’t want to eat a large amount of heavy foods before bed, but a light bedtime snack could help you sleep better.
Your digestive system slows down at night. This is why you don’t want to eat a large meal shortly before gong to bed. The meal will sit heavily in your stomach, and possibly give you heartburn, both of which will keep you awake at night. However, if you are hungry, your body may signal that you need to wake up and you will have difficulty falling back to sleep if you don’t eat something.
To prevent this from happening, you can eat a light snack shortly before bed. There are some foods that will help you sleep better than others.
Foods to Avoid Before Bedtime
You should avoid foods high in fats and sugars. Fat is difficult to digest, and sugar will send your blood sugar soaring and then plummeting which will wake you up. WebMD suggests that carbohydrates and dairy raise your levels of tryptophan, which can help you sleep.
Be careful to avoid anything caffeinated even in small amounts, especially if you are sensitive. Chocolate, or even decaffeinated coffees or teas may have enough caffeine to disrupt your sleep. If you would like to drink tea, use an herbal tea such as chamomile or peppermint, instead of decaffeinated black or green teas.
Foods That Help You Sleep Well
Some snacks that will help you sleep well include crackers, a small bowl of milk and cereal, toast, and small bits of diary such as cottage cheese or a little bit of hard cheese with your crackers. MedicineNet claims bananas, honey, eggs, and nuts as excellent sources of tryptophan. Muffins or bagels with a small amount of peanut butter can also be a good late evening snack.
Another common myth that HelpGuide.org debunks is that drinking alcohol will help you sleep better. HelpGuide.org says this regarding the nightcap, “While it may make you fall asleep faster, alcohol reduces your sleep quality, waking you up later in the night.”
Remember to keep your night time snacks light, and try to pair carbohydrates with dairy. There is wisdom in drinking a warm glass of milk with a piece of toast before bed! Do you have a favorite bedtime snack?