How Light Snacking Can Help You Sleep Better
Late-night and bedtime snacks have taken the blame for everything from sleep deprivation to weight gain, but evidence from many studies show that there’s not really a physiological reason why your late-night snacking directly causes weight gain.
In some cases, bedtime snacks may actually help you sleep a lot better than if you would on an empty stomach.
When is it okay to eat before bed?
As much as many people think it’s bad to go directly to sleep on a full belly, it can be just as bad to sleep on a growling one if your hunger pangs are keeping you awake.
This is because your body still needs a lot of nutrients to function whether you’re awake or asleep, and especially if you’re asleep. After all, sleep is your body’s chance to heal and recuperate.
What’s important is what you eat and how much of it you’re eating – when you’re both tired and hungry, be sure to eat something that isn’t too hard to digest or will keep you awake for a longer time.
What’s okay to eat before bed?
As long as you keep your helpings to one serving, you’ll be surprised at how many options you have when looking for something to indulge in before bed. Healthy options like fruits, trail mixes, and even a small serving of protein like cheese are all perfectly okay.
Another thing you need to know is that to help you know which ones you can eat and which ones to avoid shortly before sleep, you can classify foods into the following:
- Foods that help you sleep – Most fruits, vegetables, and even nuts tend to be light on calories and are richer in minerals linked to improving sleep quality. Liquids like milk and hot tea can also help you relax and settle in.
- Foods that help you stay awake – These kinds of foods are denser in calories, higher in sugar, and are stimulant in nature. While they do give you an energy boost, they can also make it harder for you to sleep.
Keep in mind that when you do decide to have a snack shortly before bed, you need to give yourself about thirty minutes before you sleep. More importantly, be sure to stay hydrated.
When is it not okay to eat before bed?
It’s absolutely not okay to eat before bed if you have acid reflux. If you’re already experiencing symptoms, doing this will only make things worse since lying down will make it easier to stomach acids to travel back up your throat.
You should especially avoid spicy and high-energy foods that have a lot of sugar and fat as well as caffeine. In fact, the best thing you can do is to drink a glass of water shortly before going to bed to help lower your body temperature and calm down your stomach acids.