Sleep is a basic human need, so you’d think all we’d have to do to fall asleep easily would be to follow a few simple rules. Unfortunately, that’s not the case—and many foods out there can interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Whether you’re simply looking for ways to or if you’re concerned about your children’s diet, here are some common food items that should be avoided before bedtime:
1. Fatty Foods
You probably know that eating fatty foods can make you feel sluggish, but it could also cause heartburn and indigestion. Fatty foods are hard to digest, which means they take longer than other foods to pass through your body. This can lead to bloating, gas, and general discomfort.
Fatty foods also tend not to be digested until the later stages of sleep. If you wake up during the night after consuming them earlier in the day, then all those fats will be sitting in your stomach, waiting for their turn to be broken down. That’s enough reason not to eat greasy fried chicken or macaroni and cheese before bedtime! They are also rich in calories. The fatter there is in a meal, the longer it takes your body to digest. This means that if you eat fatty foods before bedtime, they’ll sit in your stomach for hours on end.
Alcohol is a depressant and can disrupt your sleep cycle. Drinking alcohol before bed can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble falling asleep. It may also cause you to feel hungover the next day, making it harder to get enough sleep. If you drink alcohol before bed, it’s essential to avoid drinking too much. Having one or two drinks is fine, but more than that can cause sleep problems and make you feel hungover the next day. If you have trouble sleeping because of anxiety or stress, alcohol may help with short-term relief but not long-term solutions.
3. Spicy Foods
Spicy foods are delicious, but they can have some unpleasant side effects. If you eat spicy foods in the evening and then fall asleep, there are several ways they can interact with your body to cause discomfort. When your digestive system is stimulated by spicy food, it produces more acid than usual in an attempt to digest the food. This extra acid can irritate the lining of your mouth, throat, and stomach if eaten late at night before bedtime.
Heartburn is just one common symptom of this irritation. This may cause you difficulty sleeping if you experience pain when trying to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night. In addition to heartburn, spicy foods can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea. These symptoms are also likely to keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. So try to eat less spicy foods starting now.
You know soda is bad for you, but how much? For one thing, it’s loaded with sugar. That alone should be enough to make you reconsider drinking soda before bedtime. But even if it weren’t high in sugar (linked to higher rates of diabetes and heart disease), it would still be a bad choice because of its caffeine content.
Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that can keep you awake while trying to fall asleep. Plus, if you’re consuming too much caffeine during the day—or even just regularly throughout the week—it could lead to insomnia or other sleep problems. You might think diet sodas would be better options since they don’t contain calories from added sugars (or so people think). However, research shows that artificial sweeteners used in these drinks negatively affect your brain and body, which can cause people to eat more and gain weight.
In fact, one study found that drinking sweetened soda a day increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 18%. It’s unclear why this happens, but researchers suspect that artificial sweeteners alter your metabolism or affect how your body responds to sugar. If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s best to avoid all types of soda. If you’re craving something sweet, try drinking water with a squeeze of lemon or lime instead. You can also sip on unsweetened iced tea or plain coffee with skim milk. Besides, soda is bad for your teeth because sugar and acid can lead to tooth decay. If you can’t resist drinking soda, be sure to visit your dentist regularly to have your teeth checked.
5. Processed Foods
Processed foods, in general, are a terrible idea. They’re high in sodium which can cause you to retain water and feel bloated. They’re also high in sugar which causes a spike in blood sugar levels and makes you crave even more processed food. Finally, these foods are often packed with fat—the last thing you want right before bedtime! The best way to avoid this kind of food intake is by making your meals for dinner or checking the nutrition label before buying packaged products.
There are many factors to consider when deciding what to eat before bed, and knowing what type of meal is best for you can make a huge difference in how you feel when it’s time to get some shut-eye. While some people may be able to go without food until dinner and still enjoy their night’s sleep, others find that eating too late makes things even worse. For those who fall into the latter category, giving up dinner entirely might not be an option—but there are still ways to avoid waking up groggy and tired after being so hungry all evening!