Good health isn’t just about eating healthy foods, you also need to eat healthy food at the right time in the right proportions.
Eating a really heavy meal at night will put a strain on your digestive system and end up affecting your sleep. Plus, it could cause you gain weight because of course you aren’t likely to burn as much calories while you sleep.
This also does not mean that it’s a good idea to skip dinners. The hunger will end up keeping you awake and you may end up eating a late night snack.
Sleep deprivation is not something you want to happen as it alters the way your genetics influence your Body Mass Index, thus leading to weight gain. Studies have also proved that it tends to compromise weight loss efforts by causing your body to burn more muscle instead of fat.
Below are some foods you should not eat late at night :
Chocolates and Candy Bars
Although chocolates contain antioxidants, it’s not a good idea to eat them, especially dark chocolate at night. This is because it contains stimulants like theobromine and caffeine that could help keep you awake longer . The common milk chocolate, even though it has a lower caffeine content, is loaded with sugar and fats.
Candy bars, pastries and other sugary treats are also a no no. They cause energy spikes and could contribute to weight gain by spiking your blood glucose level. Thus, the body stores excess glucose as fat.
Sorry to say, but high-sugar and high-fat ice creams are also not a good idea. A box of sugary cereal is also not a good idea. You can get a healthier cereal snack, though.
Sodas contain a lot of empty calories and are acidic in nature. Therefore, drinking soda at night will only increase your stomach pressure and cause stomach discomfort.
Plus the high sugar content of carbonated drinks can spike up your energy levels and disrupt your sleep. Plus you can suffer from bloating and gas from certain artificial sweeteners and sugars.
Diet sodas, contain caffeine which will also disrupt sleep.
Fried and Fatty Foods
It is unhealthy to munch on fries, cheese burgers, chips and other high-calorie junk food, especially at night.
They contain so much fat and it takes longer to digest. It also slows dien the overall digestive process, leaving excess acid in the stomach and wreaking havoc on the digestive tract. Those who experience acid reflux should especially stay away from fried foods.
Spicy foods can also lead to heartburn. Plus, they may give you a rush of endorphins that could make it harder to sleep.
Super Cheesy Foods
It could feel so good eating greasy toppings on your pizza but at the end of the day, you’ll feel too full to sleep peacefully.
Cheese, definitely, is good for your health and could even promote sleep as it contains amino acid tryptophan, a sleep inducing amino acid.
When it comes to high-fat cheese though, your digestion may become terribly uncomfortable. Plus, the calories they contain are a disaster when eaten at night as you will not be able to burn them in your sleep.
You could go for low-fat mozzarella, ricotta cheese or non-fat cottage cheese, eat in moderation.
Beans, even though healthy, can be a disaster when eaten at night. Its high soluble fibre content can lead to tummy problems and flatulence.
As a matter of fact, increased abdominal gas is a common side effect of most high-fiber diets. Soluble and insoluble fiber still cause gas, but soluble fiber has a much higher potential to produce gas because it slows down the passage of food through the intestine where the gut bacteria breaks down carbohydrates and cause fermentation and gas.
Other legumes like peas, seeds, nuts and lentils are rich in soluble fiber. Foods that contain insoluble fiber cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables.
Red meat products can disrupt your sleep. It contains a high protein and fat content and takes time to digest, keeping the body awake through the digestion process. By morning, you may also end up feeling sluggish.
We suggest you opt for lean meats and vegetables. Avoid cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower and cabbage as they could lead to abdominal gas.
Alcohol has a drowsy effect and you would think it is great and helps you sleep. Unfortunately, you will not have a revitalizing sleep. A 2013 review confirmed this by taking a closer look at the effect of drinking on nocturnal sleep, although alcohol reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and even increases deep sleep, it tends to reduce Rapid eye movement sleep that influences your memory and serves restorative functions.
A refreshing, good night’s sleep includes 6 to 7 cycles of REM sleep. With alcohol in your system, it can be reduced to just 1 or 2. Alcohol can also cause snoring as it relaxes all the body’s muscles, including the throat muscles, thus reducing your defenses against airway obstruction.
Caffeine can keep you awake for hours because of its temporary stimulating effect. It’s also been found to alter the normal sleep stages and compromise deep sleep. Lack of quality sleep at night can hinder cognitive functions and contribute to daytime tiredness.
If you’re wondering if you should switch to decaffeinated coffee, you should know that decaf coffees aren’t entirely caffeine-free.
We propose a switch to herbal teas instead. For example, you could enjoy a soothing cup of chamomile tea which will also help promote sleep and digestion.
• Eat your dinner at least 2 hours before going to bed.
• Avoid late-night snack attacks.
• Do not eat too much fruit at night as most fruits are high in sugar. You can eat a small serving, but not more than 1 cup.
• Manage stress and anxiety as they may disrupt your sleep cycle and encourage late-night snacking