Nutritionists Unveil the Top 3 Foods to Avoid Before Bed for Better Sleep

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Nutritionists have identified three foods to avoid before bedtime, as they can disrupt both the quality and quantity of sleep. Let’s take a look at what it is!

Many people indulge in midnight snacks, such as chocolate, cheese, or spicy dishes, but these choices may have unintended consequences for their sleep patterns.

3 Foods To Avoid Before Bedtime

  1. Dark Chocolate: Registered nutritionist Sophie Trotman advises against consuming dark chocolate before bed due to its caffeine content. Caffeine can stimulate alertness and hinder sleep. Moreover, dark chocolate contains sugar, which can lead to glucose level spikes, causing sleep disturbances. To ensure a restful night, it’s best to avoid this sweet treat close to bedtime.
  2. Spicy Foods: Spicy dishes can interfere with sleep as they contain capsaicin, a compound that elevates body temperature and disrupts thermoregulation, making it challenging to find a comfortable sleeping temperature. For individuals experiencing menopause or perimenopausal symptoms, spicy foods can exacerbate hot flashes, leading to uncomfortable nights of sweating and overheating. Additionally, overindulging in spicy food before bedtime can lead to heartburn and indigestion, further impeding sleep.
  3. Red Meat: While a hearty steak or burger may induce sleepiness, red meat is not an ideal choice before bedtime. Digesting red meat requires more effort from the body, raising core body temperature during the process. This can lead to discomfort and poor sleep quality. Opting for lighter dinner options like chicken or vegetarian dishes is recommended if you aim to fall asleep quickly and enhance sleep quality.

For those seeking bedtime snacks that won’t disrupt sleep, Dr. Deborah Lee, a registered GP, suggests the following options:

  • Nuts: Nuts like walnuts, pistachios, cashews, and others contain nutrients like melatonin, serotonin, magnesium, and selenium, making them excellent choices for a pre-bedtime snack.
  • Whole Wheat Toast and Avocado: This combination provides a slow release of energy throughout the night and offers magnesium and healthy unsaturated fats, promoting better sleep.
  • Milky Drinks: Milk contains tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin, which is essential for the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. A milky drink can help fill you up and ease you into sleep.
  • Decaf Beverages: For those with late-night cravings but not much hunger, decaffeinated teas like chamomile can offer a calming effect and help with falling asleep.

In conclusion, to ensure a restful night’s sleep, it’s advisable to avoid foods high in caffeine, sugar, and spice before bedtime.

Instead, opt for lighter, nutrient-rich snacks or aim to leave at least three hours between your last meal and bedtime to allow your body to digest food without disrupting your sleep. These dietary choices can contribute to improved sleep quality and overall well-being.


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