We’ve all been there: When you’re lying in bed tossing and turning, but you just can’t get to sleep. The television doesn’t work, and music doesn’t work…what about a snack?Late night eating isn’t recommended as it causes the body to start working again to digest, which ultimately keeps us awake. However, if you can’t resist a snack there are some foods that you should avoid more than others.
Below are some foods to avoid during nighttime hours:
Many people drink coffee in the morning to boost their energy, but having caffeine at night blocks the chemicals that make us feel sleepy, thus keeping us up even longer. Even when you are finally ready to sleep, caffeine products will greatly affect the quality of your sleep. Make sure you check the ingredients in any of the snacks you choose and avoid those with any caffeine. If you’re craving a warm beverage, try a caffeine-free tea instead.
Fatty / Oily Food
We all know the craving of a cheesy late-night pizza or cheeseburger and fries but we must note that these kinds of foods are full of unnecessary fat. Having a meal like this forces the stomach to work harder and longer to digest all of the food and as a result you may feel sick as you go to sleep, or feel poorly when you wake up in the morning. Neither of these outcomes is worth a greasy late-night snack.
Trying to digest any kind of spicy food will take extra effort on the part of your body, so it is best not to indulge in this kind of food late at night. Digesting spicy foods will stimulate our senses just like caffeine, thus keeping you up even longer than you had hoped. Avoid spicy snacks and instead go for a snack like cottage cheese to help you sleep.
When you’re looking for an easy late-night snack, products like canned soups are attractive because they’re quick and easy to make. Remember that even if you choose a soup that is labeled as “healthy”,these kinds of products are filled with sodium and other ingredients that are artificial. Digesting too much salt will not only keep you awake, it will also make you feel very dehydrated throughout the night. Instead, make a quick bowl of scrambled eggs that are just as easy to make but much better before sleep.
You might think a few innocent bites of chocolate won’t affect your sleep, but this isn’t necessarily true. Chocolates contain stimulants that may affect your central nervous system and your heart, not to mention these products are made with a lot of sugar and fat. Adding these ingredients to your body late at night will have you feeling sluggish by the time you wake up in the morning.
When you look into the fridge late at night, remember to avoid this list of culprits that will surely decrease the quality of your sleep even more. Want some better options? Try out a handful of almonds or oats, bananas or yogurt to help calm your stomach and also help with sleep.