Do you ever feel so full every night that you don’t even think of having a small midnight snack? No? Welcome to the club. Getting a little hungry a few hours after dinner happens to most of us, and isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as you know what type of food to eat, and which ones to avoid. From gaining weight to not getting proper sleep, picking a bad type of food for your midnight snack ultimately affects your health and possibly, mood the next day. Here are 10 foods you should avoid consuming before you turn in.
1. Red Meat
Eating red meat before bed is not recommended because it will make it difficult for you to sleep. This is mostly because it will need time to digest, and therefore will sit in your stomach and kick-start your metabolism into processing it. Red meat generally takes a longer time to digest than a lot of other foods, so your body will not be able to achieve the deep sleep that you need because your digestive system will still be working late into the night.
Pasta is a go-to meal for hungry people, and is easy to make and versatile in cooking combinations, but is not a meal you should consume before you go to bed. Pasta is a carbohydrate, so basically it is a sugar source. If you eat pasta before bed, all the sugar that are ready to be used for energy will be converted into fat. Aside from that, the sugar level in the blood will spike, and you’ll want to go out and exercise at 1 in the morning: not exactly the ideal time to exercise. It will keep you from sleeping well, and will not be good for your weight in the long run if you keep this habit.
3. Leafy Vegetables
The health craze is all about promoting the consumption of vegetables in almost every meal, it seems contradicting to add this to the list. The truth is, vegetables are healthy due to the vitamins and fiber it contains, and all of that come only with a small amount of calories. Although this package is amazing, we also have to take into account that vegetables take the longest time to be processed in the body. You don’t want your system working all night to digest the vegetables you ate before bed, so stick the veggies in the dinner menu, but take them out of the midnight snack.
These snacks may be the easiest thing to grab in the pantry, and will be very tempting to consume late at night, when you’re not in the mood to whip up something healthy for your midnight munchies. Grabbing chips at night might also be the result of boredom, not hunger. People who eat out of boredom usually go for foods high in fat, therefore fried food and chips. Another problem you would have is disturbed sleep because the body is still processing the fat, which will take time off of your much-needed sleeping hours.
5. Cake and Ice cream
What better way to end the day than with a slice of cake or a bowl of ice cream? There are a lot of better ways than this, apparently. Cake and ice cream both contain high amounts of sugar, which will throw your glucose levels off-balance, requiring the body to produce insulin late at night, in an attempt to balance your sugar level. Eating sugary snacks also elevate your energy level, and will cause a “sugar rush”, causing you to sleep later than you intend.
It is tempting to grab the last slice of pizza in the fridge after a long day before you get your snooze on, but it won’t exactly help you sleep. Pizza is a fatty food that will disrupt your sleep pattern, as well as spike your sugar levels due to the crust (especially if you’re one of those who love the thick crust pizzas). It is also an acidic food, so if you’re prone to heartburn and gastric reflex, all the more reason to avoid eating pizza before bed.
Having cereal in the morning is a great start to a busy day. That statement alone is enough reason why we should limit cereal to mornings. Cereal contains high levels of sugar, which is great when we’re out to start our day because we will need a lot of energy for our daily activities. The same effects when applied late at night might not be very beneficial once you’re ready to hit the covers. Your body will be pumped and you won’t get the deep restorative sleep you need, so avoid eating cereals at night to get the quality sleep you deserve.
Chocolate is a combination of yummy goodness, caffeine, and sugar. As much as we’d want to stick to only the first description, the next two takes away all the fun. Ingesting caffeine before sleeping is wrong for all the obvious reasons, you wouldn’t want to have a cup of coffee before bed. Caffeine and sugar are incidentally also the main ingredients for energy drinks, and I don’t think you would want to drink a bottle of that before you sleep.
Although nuts are welcomed as a healthy food, being added to recipes, meals and snacks all the time, it might not be a good idea to eat nuts before you go to sleep. Nuts contain added sodium, which has the ability to hinder your body from getting ready to hit the sack. Aside from that, nuts are also packed with protein, which may stimulate brain activity, making you feel awake and give you energy, so calming down for a good night’s rest would be next to impossible.
10. Spicy food
Eating spicy food before bed may increase the risk for heartburn and gastric reflux, and will cause major discomfort. Aside from that, spicy food is known to elevate body temperature and disrupt sleep patterns. This, in turn, keeps you from getting deep sleep, and results in you waking up feeling unrestored.