Foods to Avoid Before Bedtime

In our last posting, we discussed some foods that can help you fall asleep and rest more soundly. On the other side of the spectrum, there are foods that can disrupt your sleep and even make it harder for you to slumber. Here are some to avoid:

Celery: On the surface, celery seems fairly benign. It’s not a fat pill, nor a carbohydrate monster. The thing is, though, that celery is a natural diuretic, meaning it could cause you to get up and go to the bathroom after you’ve fallen asleep. And getting up is always rife with consequences, such as finding it hard to get back to bed.

Ice Cream: In addition to the calories and fat that you’ll be adding to your system by consuming ice cream before beddy-bye, the inherent sugar in the yummy stuff is going to give you a rush that makes it hard to fall asleep. On top of that, it’s been said that high-sugar foods cause nightmares.

Pizza and Pasta: These are both carb-laden monsters, which can cause your tummy to work overtime while the rest of your organs are trying to relax. Another sleep-interfering consequence can be heartburn.

Candy: Again, the sugar is the culprit. A study has shown that seven out of ten people who consume candy bars before bed will likely have nightmares, a great sleep interrupter.

Dark Chocolate: Okay, if candy bars are bad because of the mix of ingredients, what’s wrong with dark chocolate? The problem here is that dark chocolate also contains caffeine, and you know that caffeine and sleep don’t mix too well.

Garlic: Not only will your bed partner not care for your breath if you consume garlic before retiring, but you too will suffer sleep-wise. Garlic is known as a “hot herb,” which is like spicy food in causing heartburn and digestive problems that can disrupt your sleep.

Alcohol: Having a nightcap or two can indeed make it easier to fall asleep, but it also disrupts your sleep cycle, and as soon as it wears off, it will cause you to wake up and find it hard to get back to sleep. Avoid alcohol within four or five hours of sleep (also everything listed above).

Red Meat: A good steak or piece of red meat has high levels of iron and tryptophan, which aid in sleep, but the problem lies with eating red meat to close to bedtime. Meat takes a long time to digest, so your stomach will be contradicting your other organs at rest while it’s still working to digest the meat. Again, remember the four-to-five-hour rule.

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