A healthy diet does not just mean consuming nutritious foods, but one also has to take other factors in consideration. Even the time of eating certain foods matters a lot for our health. If you eat your meals on appropriate timings, it will not trigger any illness symptoms and bond well with your body. In fact, there are many foot items that one should have before bedtime for a good night's sleep. There are some foods that should be avoided before going to bed while others are good to be consumed at night for various reasons. The factors involve sleep quality and digestion mostly. To know more, read this article further to know about 5 best and worst foods to eat before going to bed.
Best foods to eat before bedtime
A good sleep home remedy includes eating foods that are relaxing for you. And, there are some foods that are easily digestible and help in having a quality sleep as well. The 5 best foods to eat before bedtime are:
Almost every Indian household consumes the combination of milk and honey before sleeping. It is a healthy alternative of sugary foods if you are craving for something sweet. Honey has melatonin which shuts off orexin in the body, the neuropeptide that makes us feel active and alert. You can make a soothing drink with warm water and lemon to have a relaxing mug of hot water, lemon and honey is a great evening drink for soothing the body and inducing sleep.
Eating a handful of almonds before going to bed is beneficial for your body. Almonds are the ideal kind of nuts that you need to eat for quality sleep as they contain good amounts of muscle-relaxing magnesium. Magnesium is an excellent nutrient for regulating our blood sugar levels as well as sleep.
Cherries are known for being one of the best foods to eat before going to sleep as they naturally contain melatonin. You can have cherries or drink cherry juice anytime during the day as it can help in providing a longer and deeper sleep. Avoid including cherries in a fruit custard at night as it is again too much sugar consumption before bedtime. You can take this fruit in a healthy fruit salad.
Bananas are a friend for you, especially if you are facing difficulties in getting a good night's sleep. Mostly people consume this fruit for breakfast, but it should be rated before bedtime instead. They are one of the best foods for sleep, because of the high levels of magnesium which relax the muscles and calm the body. You can cut one banana with a tablespoon before bed if you want a good night’s sleep.
Spinach has proved to be effective for many insomniacs in getting them good sleep. It is a good source of tryptophan, but the leafy green vegetable is also a great source of folate, magnesium, vitamins B6 and C, which are all major factors in synthesizing serotonin, and subsequently, melatonin. Spinach also contains glutamine, an amino acid which helps the body in getting rid of the cellular toxins that result in sleeplessness.
Also read: 7 Benefits of an Early Dinner
Worst foods to eat before bedtime
While, there are some beneficial foods to eat before bedtime, there are also other unhealthy or difficult to digest foods that should not be consumed at night. These 5 foods are:
Cheese is known for being a comfort and delicious food item, but it is actually one of the worst foods to eat before going to bed. Strong or aged cheese, as well as preserved meats such as bacon, ham and pepperoni, have naturally high levels of the amino acid tyramine, which is responsible for making it a poor choice to eat at night. Tyramine triggers the adrenal gland to produce the ‘fight or flight’ hormone, which increases alertness in your body and mind for a few hours.
Because of high levels of caffeine present in chocolate, it is one of the worst foods to consume at night. After being asleep for a while, caffeine intake at night can cause rapid eye movement (REM) to occur more frequently, which is why you might feel more lazy in the morning after drinking coffee the night before. In fact, eating a chocolate at night before going to bed can also be harmful for your oral cavity as it sticks in your teeth and gums, giving a chance to germs for settling in.
Drinking too much caffeinated drinks such as colas, coffees and teas can trigger the signs of indigestion. According to some studies, caffeine intake has a direct connected with the increased stomach acid production. Moreover, coffee may also increase inflammation in some people. Therefore, coffee is one of the worst drinks to take before going to bed. It should be avoided and can only be taken 4-6 hours before sleeping.
4. Ice cream
Having too much sugary foods can have a negative effect on our oral as well as overall health. Sugary foods, such as ice-cream and sweets can increase the blood sugar levels instantly and then comes down while you are asleep. A crash in blood sugar levels in an indication for the the adrenals that there is an emergency, which then also increases the cortisol levels, and disturbs your sleep.
5. Spicy foods
Spicy or hot foods have the tendency to increase heartburn in humans. Spicy foods contain a compound called capsaicin, which slows down the digestion in our gut. It means that the food we eat will stay for a long period of time in our stomach which is a huge risk factor for discomfort while sleeping. The high levels of capsaicin can also elevate body temperature making it difficult to sleep. Therefore, it is best to avoid spicy foods as much as possible. Too much salt also dehydrates the body and increases water retention.
These were the best and worst foods to eat at night before bedtime. Another things you need to remember is that you should not go to bed starving yourself or after eating a lot of food and stuffing your stomach. When you eat a huge meal before going to bed, your body has to work to digest it for the whole night long. And, if your body is still working, then you won't be able to save energy. The later you fall asleep, the less rest you will get, and you might wake up feeling lazy and drowsy.
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