Eating the wrong food before bedtime can lead to a night of restlessness and low-quality sleep, leaving us feeling exhausted and unproductive the next day. To ensure that we get a good night’s sleep full of sound rest, it is essential to choose wise snacks or meals for our last meal of the day. Here are 10 foods that you should avoid eating for dinner if you want to get a good night’s sleep.
When the quality of our sleep is persistently inadequate, it can have a detrimental effect on both cognitive abilities and relationships. Not only that, but poor sleeping habits could lead to careless lifestyle choices or even more serious consequences such as accidents or heart attacks. Furthermore, what we consume late at night might not be beneficial either; unhealthy diets may cause us to gain weight while asleep. Kiwiwell brought you a list of 10 foods you should avoid and why you should never eat them for dinner.
Foods you should avoid for dinner
1. Fizzy drinks
Sugary sodas and colas, with their high levels of caffeine that can keep us awake at night, are not the best choice when it comes to drinking before bed. Not only will they cause weight gain due to our lack of activity during sleep, but these drinks can also disrupt your sleep schedule by keeping you up longer than necessary.
Studies demonstrate that those who tend to get less than five hours of sleep every night are more likely to drink sugary, caffeinated beverages than individuals who receive the suggested seven to eight hours. Not only do these drinks interrupt our sleeping patterns, they also increase our odds of getting type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
2. Fast food
Fast food often contains high levels of fat and sodium, which are not ideal for food consumption late at night. These components cause indigestion and can lead to heartburn or acid reflux if consumed too close to bedtime. Additionally, eating a large meal later in the day has been linked to higher blood pressure and weight gain; try to keep food intake to a minimum in the evening.
one study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that individuals who ate food late at night gained more weight than those who consumed food earlier in the day.
3. Spicy food
Spicy food has been linked to acid reflux, an uncomfortable and disruptive condition that occurs when stomach acid travels up into the esophagus. Eating hot food too close to bedtime can cause heartburn, indigestion, and a general feeling of discomfort.
Doctors advise that for those suffering from acid reflux, it’s best to avoid food with a high level of spice or acidity close to bedtime.
Chocolate is often seen as an indulgent food due to its higher fat and sugar content; however, many don’t realize that chocolate also contains caffeine. Eating chocolate before recommends avoiding spicy food, such as curry or tacos, for dinner to prevent these conditions from occurring.
In fact, a study published in the journal Sleep found that consuming chocolate late at night can disrupt our circadian rhythm and reduce sleep quality. the bed can cause sleeplessness, leaving us exhausted the following day. Therefore, it is best to save indulging in chocolate for another time of day.
Though alcohol may initially make us feel tired or relaxed, it can have a detrimental effect on our sleep quality in the long-term. Alcohol causes us to wake up more frequently throughout the night and reduces the amount of time we spend in REM sleep.
In addition, consuming alcohol before bed can lead to dehydration or frequent bathroom breaks, both of which can disrupt our sleeping routine. Therefore, it is important to avoid alcohol close to bedtime in order to ensure better sleeping patterns.
6. Fried food
Fried food, such as french fries or chicken wings, contains high levels of fat that can cause indigestion and heartburn when consumed late at night. Furthermore, fried food tends to be calorie-dense and can lead to weight gain if consumed in excess.
7. Citrus food
Citrus food, such as oranges or lemons, have high acidity levels that can cause heartburn and disrupt our sleep when eaten too close to bedtime. To prevent this from occurring, try avoiding citrus food for dinner.
8. Red meat
Red meat contains high levels of fat, which can cause indigestion and acid reflux when eaten late at night. Additionally, red meat requires a longer time to digest than other food sources; eating it too close to bedtime can leave us feeling uncomfortable and restless during the night.
9. Dairy food
Dairy food, such as milk and cheese, contains high levels of fat that can cause gastrointestinal upset when consumed late at night. In addition, dairy food tends to be higher in calories; consuming it close to bedtime has been linked to weight gain.
10. Salty snacks
If you’re someone who doesn’t crave sugar, savory snacks such as crisps, pretzels, salted nuts, and popcorn can be a delicious way to satisfy your appetite. However, consuming those snacks too close to bedtime could have negative consequences on your sleep quality.
A fascinating study discovered that those who indulge in salty snacks just before bedtime may experience a delayed onset of sleep and multiple arousals during the night. Our hearts, breathing rates, and brain activity reach their lowest levels when we enter deep sleep; however, for us to get quality rest we need REM (rapid eye movement) sleep too – as this is where our brains become more alert and dreams occur. The findings indicated that consumption of salted foods could lead to such profound slumbering that we miss out on valuable REM periods, hence feeling exhausted upon waking up.
The bottom line
It is essential to be mindful of what we eat for dinner in order to enjoy quality rest and wake up feeling refreshed. Those suffering from acid reflux or heartburn should avoid food with a high level of spice or acidity. Additionally, food such as chocolate, alcohol, fried food, citrus food, red meat, dairy food, and salty snacks should be avoided close to bedtime. By following these simple tips, you will find it easier to get quality sleep each night.