You might be wondering if a bite to eat before bed is a sure way to sabotage your diet or a brilliant way to balance your caloric intake. The answer is not black and white. The type of food you munch on determines if you’re headed for sweet dreams or a diet nightmare. Follow the guidelines below to discover the foods that can make or break your chances for a night of healthy sleep.
Avoid Sugary FoodsWhat you eat at night can literally come back to haunt you. Researchers have discovered that eating sugary foods prior to bedtime can actually increase your chance of having nightmares. The reasoning behind this theory is that sugar stimulates your brain while you sleep because your brain is active while the rest of your organs are in rest mode. Do you want peaceful sleep? You better put down that extra slice of dessert. Some of the foods you should avoid before hitting your pillow are ice cream, chocolate bars, cakes, and any other food loaded with tons of processed sugars. The other downside to eating sugar before bed is that it is more likely to be stored as fat since you won’t be burning many calories while you sleep. Simple carbohydrates like pasta and white bread should also be avoided because they will be converted into sugar in your system. Avoiding sugar before bed is good for your peace of mind and for your waistline.
Don’t Touch Diuretic Foods
You might think that a healthy snack like celery is a smart option to eat before bed. You would be wrong. Celery happens to be a natural diuretic. This means that consuming it before bed could cause you to get up multiple times in the night to use the bathroom. Interrupted sleep is harmful because you will not complete a full sleep cycle and you will wake up feeling tired. Constant sleep interruption could have long-term effects on your metabolism, mood, and cognitive functions. Other common foods that should be avoided before bed due to their natural diuretic properties include watermelon, tomatoes, cucumbers, and grapes. The lesson to take away is that low-calorie foods don’t automatically add up to better health when you consume them too close to bedtime.
Protein Is Preferred
A protein-rich food like a meal replacement shake is an excellent option to consume before sleeping if a nagging hunger threatens to keep you awake. The shake will coat your stomach and lift the uncomfortable feeling of hunger without filling you up with empty calories. Is protein before bed a bad idea if you’re trying to stay in shape? Protein before bed is actually an excellent idea because an infusion of protein will nourish your muscles and prevent your body from going into starvation mode and eating up your muscle storage during the long period of fasting that takes place while you sleep.
A good night’s sleep is the first step to a healthy life. Follow these dietary tips in order to have a comfortable rest cycle that promotes weight loss, energy, and brain function.