While diet is only one factor to getting a better night of sleep, it is an important thing to pay attention to if you are having trouble sleeping. It is advised to stop eating at least three hours before bed if possible.
- Dark Chocolate: A nightly sweet tooth might be hard to avoid, so it is best to try and avoid dark chocolate as it is packed with caffeine. While dark chocolate is the healthiest chocolate to eat, it is the worst one to eat just before bed. Tea, cocoa and coffee are also high-caffeine items that shouldn’t be consumed before bed.
- Spicy Foods: Spicy foods and tomato-based foods typically cause some sort of indigestion and heartburn, so consuming these foods before bed is really not a good idea. Sleeping with heartburn can be next to impossible, so if you know you’re going to a late night taco night be sure to take an antacid before hand.
- Alcohol: Although many of us may use alcohol to relax at the end of the day, it will likely cause a disruption in sleep, making the REM sleep cycle hard to reach.
- Fatty Foods: Greasy, fatty foods like cheesy pizza or lasagna takes longer to digest. When eaten on a regular basis, or right before bed, it can give you unwanted extra energy when you need to be sleeping. Additionally, high protein meats are hard for the body to digest as well, so the odds are if you chow on a big steak before bed, you’ll have a much more restless night of sleep.
- Beans: The stomach has a hard time digesting beans, causing it to grumble and have gas. Avoid eating foods with beans before bedtime to sleep better and have a happier stomach.
- Water: While drinking plenty of water is important to keep hydrated, if you drink too much in the evening hours, you may need the bathroom in the middle of the night, interrupting your sleep. Try drinking more water throughout your morning and daytime, so that you aren’t really thirsty at night.
- Candy and Carbonated Drinks: While neither of these items have caffeine listed as an ingredient, caffeine can be found naturally in the sugars and other ingredients in carbonated drinks. The high amounts of sugar found in gummy bears and sour patch kids will give your body a sugar spike and a burst of energy. Snacking on some candy and washing it down with a soda at the end of the night is a sure way to have a restless night of sleep.