Best Foods To Eat Before Bed If You Want A Good Night’s Sleep
We’re continually told what foods to stay away from if we don’t want to spoil our well-being and disturb our sleep. That list often includes cheese, caffeine, sugars, heavy carbs, and greasy fats. Of course, there’s some wisdom in this,...
We’re continually told what foods to stay away from if we don’t want to spoil our well-being and disturb our sleep. That list often includes cheese, caffeine, sugars, heavy carbs, and greasy fats. Of course, there’s some wisdom in this, for example avoiding caffeine and sugars before bed can help prevent disturbed restfulness and eventual REM sleep, whilst not all of this advice stands on solid ground (there’s no actual scientific link between cheese and nightmares, for example).
But what about foods to eat if you’re looking for a good night’s sleep, and you’re hungry? You don’t want to go to bed with a rumbling stomach, and there’s no great failing in eating a quick meal or snack before bed. So, what might that look like? Let’s consider, the below:
- Healthy lean proteins – poultry, fish, tofu, and certain beans can provide an amino acid known as tryptophan, which can help produce melatonin. This is the hormone that regulates sleep.
- Fruits like kiwi, bananas, and cherries – all contain melatonin.
- Herbal teas – if you’re just looking for a warming and comforting drink, opting for non-caffeine teas can be a good idea. Herbal teas are also worthwhile, chamomile, lavender, and valerian root are known for their relaxing and anti-anxiety effects. As such, they’re perfect for bedtime.
- Fatty fish – fatty fish is often rich in healthy fats and omega-3, which is linked to better sleep. In addition, fish is high in protein which can help you regulate melatonin.
- Nuts or seeds – some nuts and seeds are filled with magnesium which helps promote better sleep and aids your muscle health. A magnesium deficiency is linked to cramps, which are hardly pleasant to experience as you’re trying to relax. They’re also high in protein. Stick to almonds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
- Simple carbohydrates – (milk, fruit, processed foods, confectionery, etc.) these lead to a rapid increase in your blood sugar, and while the “crash” afterward might seem perfect for good sleep, it’s harder for you to stay asleep or gain a good quality of rest.
- Alcohol, caffeine, and sugary drinks – you may not think these counts as “food,” but snacks and meals can use any of these as part of their ingredient set. Dark chocolate, ragu made with red wine, and certain snacks like frozen ice lollies can all impact your sleep thanks to containing these ingredients.
- Spicy foods – it’s best to keep your palate neutral before heading to bed. Even if you brush your teeth, the aftertaste can still coat your tastebuds and may not be so conducive to good relaxation.
You shouldn’t feel bad if you’re looking for a quick snack before bed, or even if you wake up in the middle of the night hungry for that secret night-time fridge raid. Yet it’s smart to choose foods that are healthy and won’t interfere with your restful sleep. Also, try to keep it light, because while a food coma may seem like a good way to get to sleep, it’s best to sleep out of relaxation and not carb exhaustion.
With this advice, we hope every night-time snack you enjoy from here on out satisfies your craving and grants you wonderful rest.