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Foods You Should Avoid Before Going to Bed

Kulbhushaan Raghuvanshi
Indulging in your favorite snack at bedtime might not be a good idea after all. Research suggests that certain food items, if consumed before going to bed, can actually have a big impact on the sleep pattern, and keep you awake for most of the night.

Did You Know?

Two of the most common causes of insomnia are excess caffeine consumption and food allergies.
We've all had those nights where a peanut butter sandwich, cake, or meatloaf might seem like the perfect solution to get a good night's sleep. Sure, these foods seem ideal for satisfying late night hunger, however, they aren't. In fact, there are some more food items that should be avoided if you want to have a perfect night's sleep.
Statistics reveal that over 40 million adult Americans sleep for less than six hours every night, exposing them to health ailments like heart diseases and insomnia. Physicians believe that out of the many factors that help in getting a good night's sleep, diet is one of the most important. Check out the foods that should not be touched before going to bed.

Foods to Avoid Before Bed

Contrary to what you've seen or heard, alcohol is a strict no-no before bedtime. A drink or two can surely make you drowsy, leading many to see alcohol as a sleep-inducing agent. It does knock you off for 2 to 3 hours, but research has shown that alcohol is more likely to keep you awake late at night, leaving you feeling restless in the morning. Alcohol is known to encourage deep sleep in the first-half of the night, and then increase sleep disruptions in the second-half. It also acts as a muscle relaxant, and increases the chances of snoring at night.
Ice Cream
Ice cream may be the most comforting food, but it surely doesn't provide any comfort if eaten at bedtime. Firstly, it is loaded with fats, and hence the body doesn't get much time to burn any of it before going to bed.
Secondly, the sugars mixed in it will spike your energy levels which is not something you need when its past your bedtime.
Pasta is easy to make and probably the best choice for those craving a quick bite before bed, but it is certainly not the healthiest choice you are going to make.
The ingredients needed to make pasta such as the sauce, oil, cheese, and heavy cream are high in calories and are prone to settle on the waist. Pasta is also loaded with carbohydrates, that get converted into fats if you go to bed right after eating.
Dark Chocolate
A tough decision, but dark chocolate needs to be crossed off the list if you really wish to sleep peacefully.
In addition to the high amounts of sugar and antioxidants that provides instant energy, chocolates also contain high amounts of caffeine and theobromine, a stimulant that is known to increase heart rate and sleeplessness.
At the end of a tiring day, the body and all its organs require a peaceful night's sleep. However, feeding on a pizza before bedtime can cause your digestive system to get busy for long hours.
In addition to the fattening cheese and meat toppings, the tomato sauce with its high acidity levels does a good job of triggering acid reflux and heartburn.
Red Meat
It is a fact that meat is extremely beneficial for building up the muscle tissue, but eating a big red juicy piece of meat just before going to bed is definitely going to keep your body up all night.
Red meat is loaded with proteins and fats, and consuming it just before bedtime is going to force the body to perform an extensive digestive process which can disrupt sleep. The body needs a lot of energy to break down the proteins, and it sure isn't getting any while sleeping.
If you really want to sleep at all, coffee is surely not the way to go. Its main ingredient is caffeine, that is known to be an extremely popular stimulant which will over-stimulate the nervous system and keep you awake late at night.
Fried Foods
Fried foods like burgers, hot dogs, French fries, and chips are extremely high in fat content, and take a long time to digest. Consuming such foods before going to bed can cause sleep troubles due to the abdominal cramps and acid reflux.
Celery is surely not expected on this list. It is a herb filled with nutrients, and is great for people who want to lose weight.
However, in addition to all the health benefits it offers, celery is also a natural diuretic. This means that you will visit the bathroom more often than usual, as diuretics elevate the rate of urination.
Chinese Food
The last on the list is Chinese food. Why should it be avoided before bed? Well, in addition to all the spices and heavy oil content.
Chinese food also contains MSG (Monosodium glutamate), a stimulant that possesses properties like caffeine, which makes it difficult for a person to fall asleep.
This does not mean that the foods mentioned above should be avoided altogether. It is perfectly fine to consume them in limited quantities, and ensure that dinner is finished at least 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. The body will feel lighter, less bloated, and will get a good night's rest.