Craving for a snack before you sleep? Better think twice about eating that scrumptious slice of chocolate cake. Indeed, some foodstuffs are better for indulging compared to others. Here’s a list of bad and good foods that can help you to decide on what to take out of the fridge to ensure that the sandman arrives.
BAD: ANYTHING CHOCOLATE
Cross chocolate cakes and cookies off your list. They’re not only loaded with sugar but may also be a source of caffeine. Believe it or not, chocolate has caffeine and we all know that that sneaky substance can keep you awake until the wee hours of the morning.
When craving for sleep, a calm stress-free demeanour is desired. And one of the best ways to achieve this is by eating bananas. Rich with magnesium and carbs, the banana has an overall calming and stress-relieving effect. Another positive effect of eating bananas is that it helps in digestion and the elimination of waste—just in time for your morning bathroom rituals in the morning.
BAD: ANYTHING FATTY
The worst fatty food: cheese. The runners-up: milk, yoghurt, avocado, nuts, ice cream, butter, cooking oil and olive oil. Although these foods are actually healthful, their fat content gets in the way of proper sleep and are not advisable for one seeking some shut-eye as dietary fats take a long time and too much energy to digest.
GOOD: WHOLE GRAINS
Whole grains in the form of bread are ideal as it helps the body release serotonin—a hormone that calms and promotes sleep. Whole grains likewise contain fiber which helps the body remove toxins for elimination in the morning.
Surprise! Eggs or rather the protein in eggs are great for assuaging hunger pangs in the evening. The reason for this is that eggs are not only satisfying but easy to digest. However, between hard boiled and scrambled, the latter is the better choice.
The calories alone in a single alcoholic drink should put you off any alcoholic beverage prior to sleeping. To be fair, alcohol helps one sleep. However, it is not the kind of sleep ideal for the body as the sleep it induces is not deep and restorative.
BAD: ANYTHING SOUR, ACIDIC AND SPICY
These foods contribute to acid reflux which is exacerbated when one is lying down. The reason for this is that sour, acidic and spicy food affects the seal that keeps the contents of the stomach from going up the esophagus. The discomfort alone (i.e. burning sensation in the throat and the chest) is enough to keep you awake.
GOOD: KIWI FRUIT
But isn’t the kiwi a bit on the sour side? Perhaps. But it compensates by having antioxidant compounds like serotonin that enables one to eat faster and attain quality sleep. Other fruits to consider: apples, berries.