We said it once, but we’ll say it again: sleep is imperative. It’s almost the basis of general well-being. to eat balanced meals have a good night routine, your daytime habits impact your sleep. Good rest makes you happier and healthier. Although most people know that sleep is essential, few prioritize it. In fact, it is estimated that 70% of adults having insufficient sleep. As a toddler mom and career woman, I get it. Quality sleep isn’t always in the cards. My secret weapon? Know what foods to avoid before bed.
It’s true. Your bedtime snack (and for that matter, your dinner!) has more of an impact on your sleep than you realize. In this spirit, knowledge is power. Knowing which foods disrupt sleep will help you make more conscious choices and prioritize sleep promotion. Ingredients.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
Restful sleep relies on balanced blood sugar levels
Before we dive into foods to avoid before bed, let’s backtrack. One of the key elements of restful sleep is balanced blood sugar. Blood sugar, or glucose, is our main source of energy. We get it from the foods we eat. In many ways, our diet can make or break our blood sugar levels. When blood sugar is managed throughout the day, you are more likely to get restful sleep.
However, even partial sleep deprivation increases insulin resistance. In turn, this can increase blood sugar levels. Therefore, lack of sleep is associated with Diabetes, a blood sugar disorder. Main takeaway? Balanced blood sugar leads to restful sleep, and restful sleep leads to better blood sugar management. It’s a two-way street.
What happens to blood sugar while you sleep?
Blood sugar rises while you sleep. For someone with a normal sleep schedule, the flare occurs between 4 and 8 a.m. (this is called the dawn effect). In a healthy person, insulin can manage the surge by telling muscle, fat, and liver cells to take up glucose from the blood. This keeps your blood sugar level stable. For those who suffer from diabetes or who suffer chronically poorly managed blood sugar—insulin cannot do its job very well. So, in the middle of the night, blood sugar rises. This can disrupt sleep and cause high blood sugar in the morning.
Foods that raise blood sugar
With an understanding of blood sugar under your belt, let’s dive into foods that raise blood sugar. These, of course, are included in foods to avoid before bed.
White grains (refined carbohydrates)
Foods containing white grains, such as white bread, pasta, and rice, are all examples of sources of refined carbohydrates. They are delicious, but much of their fiber is removed during processing. Unfortunately, without fiber, blood sugar levels skyrocket. When it comes to enjoying Pasta for dinner, pair it with a simple salad as well as a source of protein.
In addition to containing substantial amounts of sugar, beverages like sodas, sweetened iced tea, and even fruit juices contain virtually no protein, fat, or fiber. They are blood sugar bombs. In addition, these drinks do not really help with satiety.
Do you like your oat milk? There is a some reasons drink oat milk in moderation (consider replacing it with whole milk, almond milk, or coconut milk daily). Trendy oat milks are very high in refined carbs and often high in sugar (unless you buy unsweetened). It’s a double whammy for blood sugar. If you like to enjoy a bowl of cereal before bed, opt for a hypoglycemic milk that is low in sugar and high in fiber. cereal Where granola.
Fried foods, and fast food in particular, are an easy way to spike blood sugar. Of course, no one calls fast food a health food, but we tend to think that burgers and fries are just calories and fat. The truth is, fast food also tends to be high in sugar. Some popular drive-thru burgers actually contain as much sugar as a candy bar!
Dried fruits can be part of a healthy and balanced diet. They are a quick source of energy and taste delicious in granola and trail mix. That said, it’s important to pair dried fruit with protein (string cheese, cottage cheese, boiled eggs, etc.) as well as a source of fat (nuts, almonds, olives, etc.) to maintain glycemic balance. Dried fruit is an energizing pre-workout snack, but it’s one of the foods to avoid before bed.
10 foods to avoid for a better night’s sleep
Without further ado, these are foods to avoid for a better night’s sleep. While it is not never Eating these foods again is about being aware of how they can impact your sleep. Rest assured, there are plenty of delicious swaps out there to satisfy your sweet or savory bedtime craving.
It may look like a cocktaila few beers or a few glasses of wine help you fall asleep. However, there are three good reasons not to drink alcohol (especially in excess!) before going to bed. First, alcohol interrupts your natural sleep cycle later at night. This can decrease the amount of restorative REM sleep you get.
Second, drinking alcohol relaxes all the muscles in the body, which can exacerbate obstructive sleep apnea and loud snoring. Finally, alcohol tends to cause acid reflux, which is no fun when you’re trying to fall asleep. We know it’s not the same, but there are delicious non-alcoholic wines on the market.
While grapes have *some* melatonin in them they are packed with (natural) sugars. If you’re going to eat grapes close to bedtime, limit yourself to a smaller portion and pair them with a bowl of full-fat Greek yogurt and nuts. In terms of blood sugar management, eating a large bowl of fruit, especially before sleeping, can lead to blood sugar spike. In turn, this can further lead to insomnia. In addition, fruits are acidic, which means they box trigger heartburn when you try to fall asleep.
Like grapes, bananas are mostly made up of fast-digesting carbs. They are excellent sources of stimulating energy (and useful for period cramps!), but not necessarily something to snack on before bed. Instead, bananas are ideal before or after training, combined with fats and proteins. If you’re craving something sweet, go for a low-glycemic option, like blackberries or raspberries. That said, keep in mind that for some, fruit after dinner can cause indigestion.
Dietary fats, such as those in whole dairy products, take a long time to digest. While helpful for balancing blood sugar during the day, it’s not ideal before bed. Warning: yogurt. Unlike a slice (or three) of cheese pizza before bed, Greek yogurt is a filling late-night snack that promotes sleep. It also contains important nutrients, such as calcium, vitamin B12 and potassium. Plus, it’s also packed with probiotics, good bacteria to boost digestive health while you sleep.
Espresso flavored desserts
It goes without saying, but there are plenty of foods that contain sneaky sources of caffeine – think matcha, espresso, and coffee ice cream and desserts (matcha mochi, coffee ice cream, tiramisu, etc.). Many of these desserts, even with their subtle coffee flavors, act as stimulants. They make it harder to transition into deeper stages of sleep, decreasing the amount of REM sleep you would normally get. Better to enjoy these kind of treats earlier in the day!
Acidic foods, such as tomatoes and citrus fruits, can irritate the stomach lining and raise acidic pH levels in the body. This triggers indigestion, heartburn, and acid reflux, all of which can interfere with sleep. Cooking the tomatoes won’t reduce the acidity enough to prevent acid reflux either, so the next time you cook pizza for dinner, try to prepare fresh pesto In place.
As much as we savor our chocolate bars, we’ve learned the hard way not to eat our coveted squares too close to bedtime. Although chocolate, especially dark chocolate, has many health benefits, it contains a compound called theobromine which affects the body in the same way caffeine does. Opt for chocolate for dessert after lunch, or mid-afternoon with a dollop of almond butter.
Can soy sauce affect sleep? Research says yes. Fermented soy products contain one of the highest amounts of tyramine—an amino acid found in fermented foods. Think: soy sauce, tofu, miso, and even teriyaki sauce should be avoided several hours before you doze off. Tyramine can increase brain activity and is potentially linked to insomnia.
Although garlic has a very high concentration of aIlicin (a compound that can naturally help the mind relax), it is also a gastrointestinal stimulant. For the most part, it’s best to avoid eating large amounts in the evening. Additionally, garlic increases your body’s production of saliva and gastric juices, which might prevent you from drifting off to dreamland easily.
Onions are one of the main offenders when it comes to sleep disruptors. Onions create gas as they move through your digestive system. This gas affects the pressure in your stomach, which can push acid back up your esophagus, especially when you’re lying flat. Unfortunately, raw and grilled onions have this effect. Try replacing the onions with fennel, leeks or cabbage (when cooking dinner).