8 Foods to Avoid Before Bedtime
If you're hankering for a bedtime snack or beverage, don’t just grab the first thing that sounds good. While some foods — a light, carby snack like crackers or an apple — can actually help your sleep, many others can disrupt your sleep, causing nightmares, an irritated tummy, insomnia and sleep-interrupting trips to the potty.
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You might want to rethink that late-night order for pizza... for a lot of reasons. That cheesy topping might give you nightmares, according to a recent study, and the acidic tomato sauce can lead to tummy aches and 2 a.m. trips to the bathroom. Plus, pizza is really more than a bedtime snack; eating a second dinner adds a lot of extra calories that you probably don't need.
We get it. Sometimes a bowl of cereal at bedtime is just the thing. But you're better off sticking with a low-sugar, high-fiber kind, like Cheerios or bran flakes. Sugary cereals digest rapidly in your system, so the spike in blood sugar could throw off some of your sleep hormones, and low-fiber diets are linked to lighter sleep. Your best bet might be to forgo the food and just get some z's — when you're not getting enough sleep, you're more apt to seek energy by eating more food (especially sugar).
Spicy foods do more than stimulate your taste buds — they also can irritate your stomach (particularly problematic if you're prone to heartburn), which can make it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep.