August 21, 2014
We all know that sleep is a key ingredient to being happy, healthy and beautiful. But the part we don’t always think about is how our diet affects our sleep. In fact, certain foods can make a difference in whether or not you get your full 7-9 hours of beauty rest!
A good guide is to keep bedtime snacks under 200 calories. If you’re feeling unsure of the right late night fare, keep reading below and you’ll know exactly what to keep on hand and what to avoid.
Best Foods Before Bed
Pop a bag of grapes into the freezer for a surprisingly satisfying snack. Low-calorie and not-too-sweet, these frozen mini-popsicles will leave you feeling satisfied and provide the carbohydrates you need to drift off to sleep.
A cup of Greek yogurt with delicious mix-ins like honey and berries is a great option. Greek yogurt and honey both have tryptophan, the amino acid that makes an afternoon nap sound so good.
Cereal & Milk
Choose a high-fiber cereal like Kashi or Cascadian Farm with some milk for the right balance of protein and carbohydrates. Tryptophan is also found in milk, which is an added sleeping benefit.
Cherries naturally contain melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy. Drinking tart cherry juice (not the syrupy-sweet kind with added sugar) has been shown to improve how well and how much you sleep.
Making air-popped popcorn is much healthier than the microwave kind and incredibly easy to do using a popcorn maker. It’s low-cal and provides the right amount of carbs to help induce sleep. Add some olive or walnut oil for delicious buttery flavor and some rosemary and enjoy!
Foods to Avoid Before Bed
Anything High in Fat
Indulging in creme brulee and macarons may seem like a treat but consuming these right before bed is guaranteed to kill your night’s sleep. Foods high in fat are likely to cause heartburn and an upset stomach, leaving you tossing and turning all night.
Even small amounts of alcohol at night can keep you from getting sound sleep. Drinking a lot of it only makes it worse. Alcohol works its way through your system quickly and leads to waking up during the night.
Anything caffeinated is a late night no-no. Although coffee is the most well-known caffeinated beverage, you also have to be careful with teas, energy drinks, sodas, chocolate, weight loss pills and even some headache medicines. Loading up on these drinks during the day can also contribute to poor sleep at night.
Dark Chocolate & Candy
While dark chocolate is known for its antioxidant benefits, it contains caffeine that can leave you feeling buzzed before bed. Candy is an even worse choice. One study found that people who consumed candy before bed were more likely to have nightmares at night.
This one might surprise you because so many sources talk about the benefits of protein. But getting too much of it, whether throughout the day or right before bed, can give you more energy than you need and prevent you from relaxing into sleep. Reach for one of the options above instead and feel good knowing you are on the right track to a health and beauty enhancing sleep!