Part of a healthy lifestyle is getting great sleep on a high-quality premium mattress. Another aspect of staying healthy is what you eat, of course. The two are more interconnected than you may imagine! Did you know that your food choices affect your sleep? There are certain foods to avoid before bed if you want to get a sound night’s sleep, and some that actually aid in getting you a great night of deep rest. If you are focused on keeping your body functioning well and feeling great each morning, you want to learn about how food affects the way you sleep and find out which meals to avoid before bed.
#1 Chocolate. Sorry, but chocolate ranks number one on the list of foods to avoid before bed in order to fall asleep and stay asleep for eight hours. Chocolate is packed with sugar and caffeine, both of which have a serious impact on how well you sleep. These stimulate the nervous system and keep you awake for hours. You wouldn’t drink a big cup of coffee and expect to fall asleep an hour later, yet far too many people reach for the candy bowl at 8 pm without a second thought. This is a costly mistake!
#2 Bacon. Say goodbye to a bacon cheeseburger and french fries for dinner! A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that participants who ate more saturated fats experienced less deep sleep and woke up more throughout the night. The high-fat content in bacon triggers the production of acid in the stomach and leads to acid reflux, which is sleep-inhibiting to say the least. Doctors recommend avoiding any heartburn-triggering foods too close to bedtime to ensure you get a good night’s sleep. If you are trying to avoid anything fried or fatty, bacon has to go- because it is both!
#3 Hot Peppers. You may be saying “Of course I wouldn’t eat a bacon cheeseburger before bed...or at all!” It isn’t just so-called unhealthy foods that need to be avoided late into the evening. Even some veggies can wreck your slumber, like hot and spicy peppers. This is because they can get your blood flowing and increase your body temperature. Hotter is the opposite of where your body temperature needs to go at night! Save any recipe that uses cayenne or chili peppers for a delicious lunch or happy hour appetizer instead.
#4 Celery. Celery is a mainstay of many diets because it fills you up with very few calories. How does celery achieve this amazing feat? Because it is full of water! All of that water acts as a diuretic and will lead to many trips to the bathroom overnight, disrupting your sleep cycle in the process.
#5 Pasta. A big bowl of pasta is comfort food and may seem like the perfect heavy meal to make you fall asleep. Sometimes, you feel drowsy before you are even finished with your meal! This is because pasta is nearly all carbohydrates which, similar to sugar, activates a fat “storage” system in your body. Your body works hard to hold onto this fat throughout the night, making you feel full and bloated instead of comfortable. If you’re really craving some linguini and clams, a better option would be whole-wheat pasta that won’t spike your blood sugar.
Remember, research suggests that a bad night’s sleep can lead you to crave more unhealthy snacks and junk food the next day. It becomes a vicious cycle! Instead of the foods listed above, you will want to keep a steady amount of kiwi, almonds, bananas, and turkey in your diet. These foods have been shown to increase sleep instead of upsetting it. With great sleep being so important to a healthy and happy life, it is worth it to do anything you can to achieve the slumber your body craves.
Noise, light, sounds, and temperature are a few aspects in your external environment that affect the way you sleep. In order to get the sleep your body needs, create an ideal sleep oasis complete with soothing smells and sounds and a top-tier mattress. Eat a light, healthy dinner before bed. You’ll be amazed at how easily you fall asleep, how long you sleep uninterrupted, and how fabulous you feel in the morning!