Eight Foods You Can Eat Before Bed to Help You Sleep
Do you ever crave a little something to eat before bed? If you’re like most people, the answer is yes. It's not uncommon to want a little comfort food while watching a television show or late night movie before bedtime.
Eating some food before we go to sleep can make us feel full and comforted. Yet many of the foods we snack on in the evenings are difficult to digest and can actually prevent us from getting a good night's sleep.
What to Eat Before Bed?
As a general rule, we should avoid eating anything less than 3 hours before bedtime. However, if you feel hungry before going to bed, then chances are you shouldn’t ignore your hunger pangs. Your next meal won’t be coming along for another 7 or 8 hours, and you don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night feeling hungry.
So what are the best foods to eat before hitting the hay?
Ideally, you shouldn’t snack on anything with a high calorie content, nor anything with too much sugar. During sleep, the body does not burn off many calories, so high-calorie foods are more likely to be stored as fat and sugary foods can keep you awake well into the night.
Instead, look for a small low-calorie, low-sugar snack that will satisfy your craving that won't disrupt a body that is about to shut off for the night. Here are a few ideas for an ideal bedtime snack that you won’t regret eating:
Foods That Help You Sleep
- Oatmeal and Honey: A nice bowl of warm oatmeal can have a calming effect on the nervous system. Oats are rich in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, and magnesium, which are all important for supporting sleep. Honey contains a natural compound called “orexin” that is said to help prepare the brain for sleep, making it an excellent alternative to sugar.
- Tuna: Because tuna is high in protein it makes a great candidate for a bedtime snack that will slowly digest overnight. Low in calories and sugar, a can of tuna will keep your alertness at a minimum for a restful night of sleep.
- Cottage Cheese: A dairy product that is high in protein and can be digested slowly. Consider adding a few fresh berries for some natural sweetness and added nutrients.
- High Fibre Cereal and Milk: Whole grain cereals contain complex carbohydrates that are satisfying and boost serotonin to promote calm relaxation. The fibre in the cereal will be digested slowly through the night. The milk contains tryptophan which works as amino acid to help keep you calm.
- Hard Boiled Egg: Eggs are high in protein and provide a satisfying snack that is slowly digested and will help you sleep through the night. Consider eating your egg with a small slice of flax bread. Flax contains omega-3 to improve brain function, while the bread provides the complex carbohydrates to boost serotonin.
- Banana: As a natural low-fat and high-fibre food, bananas are said to stabilize serotonin and melatonin, aiding relaxation and promoting a sound sleep. The magnesium and potassium elements in a banana can also help relax tired or overworked muscles.
- Cherries: Naturally boosting the body’s supply of melatonin, these little red treasures will help slow you down before bedtime, relaxing and calming the mind. While fresh cherries are the optimum choice, cherry-juice or frozen cherries also contain the same soothing properties.
- Almonds: If you’re really hungry then eating a small handful of natural almonds will quickly tame your appetite as well as provide your body with "good fats." Containing lots of magnesium, almonds also help to make you fall asleep quickly and are great for protecting your heart.
The next time you reach for the fridge for a bedtime snack, think about the effect your snack will have on your body. Paying attention to the foods you eat before bed will greatly enhance your well being and help you get the good night’s sleep you need.
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