Going to bed without snacking is a true victory for most of us. The temptation is rather difficult to resist with so many products that are seeming rather innocent. You are aware of the fact that meanwhile there are plenty of snacks that are perfectly harmless during the day, they can damage the quality of your sleep as well as your slender figure if eaten at night.
Because your body is so focused on repairing the muscles and preparing you for another day at world, it is important to get a good night’s sleep.
So, do you know what are the worst foods that you can eat at night? We teach you the top five foods that you should avoid before bed, and the alternative snacks.
- Dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is the perfect snack when you are craving something sweet, but during day hours only. It can keep you awake for hours if you indulge in the late hours of the evening. It is indeed the healthiest form of chocolate you could possibly have, but its high levels of caffeine may keep you up all night. Dark chocolate is also a great source of theobromine, stimulant that promotes alertness.
Try eating carob chips instead of dark chocolate next time it’s late, it is similar at taste but it has no caffeine whatsoever.
- Ice cream and yogurt. Ice cream is famous for its high sugar and fat content and should be avoided at all costs when it comes to late night foods. Stay away from all high-protein foods once the sun goes down if you want to get a good night’s rest.
Greek yogurt is an energy booster while simple but flavored ones are too rich in sugar and can result in unwanted kilograms. Ice cream is also to be avoided on the account of all the extra work your digestive system has to process.
If you can’t resist the cravings, go for some ice cream made from rice or coconut milk. They contain less protein, but be careful to read the label and see the sugar content. Go for plain vanilla and avoid any flavorings.
- A glass for dinner is fine, but don’t go overboard. Wine along with other forms of alcohol can lead to an awful night of sleep. Alcohol affects the repairing muscle process, speeds up dehydration and does not allow for energy levels to get back to normal. Your body will feel tired and sleepy even if you get the right amount of sleep.
Alcohol is known to increase insomnia, so avoid drinking wine hoping it will make your sleep any better. Cut down drinks a few hours before going to bed and switch to herbal teas such as peppermint or chamomile for their relaxing and stress-relieving properties.
- Spicy food. Lock your Tabasco sauce after dinner and do not allow it to find its way on your nighttime snack. Spicy food can cause indigestion and this will ruin your good night’s rest. Even if you remain unscathed by the effects of spicy food, you may fall victim to body temperature changes that can keep you awake.
Chili peppers, and the capsaicin, an ingredient that is found in them, cause changes in your sleep patterns because of elevated body temperatures during your first sleep cycle. These changes cause sleep disruptions that last throughout the night. Spicy foods are also linked to nightmares and strange dreams.
Get some crackers made from nuts or stone-ground sesame seeds with hummus spreads instead. Leave the spicy food for the next day.
- Fried food. Literally the worst food you can touch before going to bed. It may make you sleepy, but it will be a nightmare for your body as it will require a longer time to digest. If you want to avoid stomach pains, cramps and acid reflux, as well as poor sleep quality, stay away from fried food.
If you are still reaching out for sausage, steak, potatoes, tortillas and high-fat cheese, they will affect your sleep because of their fat content even if they are not deep fried. You run the risk of heartburns and abdominal bloating that will make your sleep pretty difficult.
The healthy alternative is baked products such as butternut squash, zucchini, or sweet potato with whole-grain breading.