Some of us forget that food plays such a pivotal role in our health. It’s important to be aware of the foods that are keeping you awake at night or otherwise making you sleep more. Not to mention foods that may be hindering your weight loss* programs.
It’s also important to monitor the foods that you may be consuming close to the bedtime hour.
Consider that your diet is an integral part of your sleep and weight cycles. You should be sure you’re drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly, but beyond these factors there is a whole list of foods that you should avoid in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle while sleeping better* and maintaining your weight.
Snack: First and foremost, avoid the snack aisle. Instead, try a veggie tray or maybe, maybe crackers… just don’t overdo it. You should be avoiding potato chips, cookies and the like. Popcorn should be okay, just try to skip the extra butter and be sparse with the salt.
It is imperative to make a strong effort to cut down on your salt and sugar intake because too much salt and sugar causes you to gain weight. Weight gain is something we’re all trying to stay away from but it’s especially important if you’re not sleeping well. This can become a vicious cycle as bad sleeping habits can make you feel hungry (even when you’re not) – therefore causing more weight gain.
Alcohol: Alcohol of any kind is ‘terrible’ for sleep. Alcohol is full of sugar and carbohydrates. While the carbs might make you sleepy, alcohol should not be used as a sleep aid*. Some studies indicate that alcohol before bedtime can also cause you to wake up multiple times during the night. One study found that a glass of bourbon or vodka at bedtime increased the amount of time women spent awake during the night and reduced* nightly sleep time, diminishing* quality sleep.
Chocolates: Try to stay away from the chocolate at bedtime too – chocolate contains calories and caffeine, not a good mix for losing weight and trying to sleep better*.
Energy Drinks: The culprit here again is caffeine. Generally, the recommended cutoff for caffeine is around 2pm, this of course biding a schedule of someone that typically wakes and sleeps between six am and ten pm.
Beverages: Speaking of beverages – coffee contains caffeine which is well known as a stimulant. Try to avoid coffee for at least six hours prior to your bedtime.
Overall: Avoid greasy or fat filled foods, high carb or sugary foods, red meat and other proteins, spicy foods, and big portions. Greasy, heavy, fatty foods will likely make you feel tired the next morning. Indigestion is a likely event when consuming these foods too close to the bedtime hour, causing disruption in your sleep cycle.
High Carb or Sugary Foods: As we’ve already discussed, sugar will cause weight gain not to mention a spike in your blood sugar levels right before bed, disrupting your sleep process.
Red Meat and other Proteins: These kinds of foods will sit heavy on your stomach, again, causing indigestion and disrupted sleep.
Spicy Foods: It is stated that the chemicals found in spicy foods can stimulate your senses, making it hard to fall asleep.
Big Portions: Keep the snacking to a minimum, under 200 calories. This will help curb your appetite before bedtime without the negative side effects of weight gain and lost sleep.
These are just some basic tips to keep in mind. If you need some ideas on what you can eat before bedtime, look no further – we’re covering that too!
Consider Tart Cherry Juice… it’s not just good for you, it might help you sleep. Results from a 2014 Research Study at Louisiana State University found that drinking tart cherry juice twice per day can help you sleep nearly 90 minutes more per night.
Need something crunchy? – Try some walnuts…. Just like tart cherry juice, walnuts are full of melatonin – and eating them has been proven* to increase* levels in your blood, according to a study in Nutrition. That’s just the thing you need to improve* your sleep-wake cycle, so you can drift off with ease*.
According to the Mayo clinic there is some evidence that eating late in the day actually makes it harder to sleep afterall. Especially if you eat the fatty foods we’re telling you to stay away from. In addition, it’s a good idea to avoid certain foods late in the day because they can lead to digestive problems. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Don’t drink too many fluids before bedtime. Think about this, your bladder can only hold fluids for so long before your body is ready to release these fluids. Try to avoid drinks for a few hours before bedtime.
It’s really very simple. Eat right and exercise and don’t eat these food to sleep better* and lose* weight…. you’ll feel better*, sleep better* and maintain a healthy weight.