We compiled a list of 10 foods to avoid before going to sleep and the reasons why it is better to leave them for another time.
Surely you have ever heard that "nights of debauchery, ibuprofen mornings" and also that copious dinners are linked to nights of not slewing. But sometimes, it is not only about excesses in quantity, but there are some foods that should be avoided before going to sleep if we want to fall asleep like babies and wake up the next morning fresh as roses.
Foods to avoid before sleeping
Some of us can already imagine what they are, others may surprise, but they have a good reason for appearing on the list of foods to avoid before going to sleep that we present below.
Chocolate has caffeine, especially dark chocolate. It is found in the cocoa pods used to make chocolate. And just like morning coffee gives us an extra dose of energy throughout the day, chocolate is also a stimulant that improves mental alertness, reduces fatigue and speeds up our metabolism - not exactly what interests us most before. going to bed, if what we want to do is sleep, of course.
Very spicy or spicy food
The digestion slows down during sleep and digest spicy food needs an extra effort which will require more time if digestion is done while we're trying to sleep. Eating spicy food before bed can disturb the continuity of sleep and cause us to wake up several times during the night. As a result, we will not get a good night's sleep.
Another reason that spicy foods reduce the quality of sleep is that they increase body temperature.
On the other hand, although we do not abuse the spicy, too spicy foods, especially very salty ones will make us wake up thirsty at night.
If we shouldn't have chocolate before going to sleep, even less coffee. Caffeine is specifically a central nervous system stimulant. It increases the production of adrenaline, a hormone that allows the body to use available energy.
A cup of coffee contains an average of 250 mg of caffeine with which its stimulating effects can be felt in a scarce 15 minutes after consumption and can last for hours. It takes a total of 6 hours for the body to eliminate half of the caffeine in a cup of coffee.
Even some people with caffeine sensitivity can be affected by decaf coffee.
A few beers, a couple of glasses of wine and it seems that we are immediately fried in bed. And yes, it is true, that alcoholic beverages "groggy" a bit and many people fall asleep earlier and more soundly. But the truth is that alcohol consumption reduces the duration of the well-known REM phase, or phase of rapid eye movements, which is the phase of sleep during which our body recovers and prepares to stay awake the next day.
Obviously, if alcohol is consumed in excess, it is known to all that waking up is not exactly in the middle of a feeling of well-being but rather it is time to deal with the well-known hangover.
Excessively greasy food
And we are not just talking about the hamburger or pizza from the fast-food establishment on the corner, the ones we make at home, no matter how much we know what they are made of, they are just as undesirable if we are going to get into bed. In both cases, they will produce heavy digestions that will not allow us to enjoy a restful sleep.
Some foods like milk or cheese contain healthy amounts of protein that do not prevent a good night's sleep. On the other hand, red meats, although they are suitable for weight loss diets, have too much protein to be consumed before going to sleep, which supposes an overexertion when digesting them, resulting in a worse quality sleep.
In fact, a meal that only has protein is very filling but also difficult to assimilate. If we also try to sleep, the dreaded heartburn can occur during digestion.
There is no problem with consuming whole grains before going to sleep, the problem is that the vast majority of cereals available on the market today have high amounts of sugar.
Eating cereals rich in simple sugars will increase blood sugar levels providing energy that we will not burn and that will not let us fall asleep. When blood sugar levels begin to drop, the feeling of sleep will begin, but our body will try to continue to compensate for the excess sugar in the blood and that will affect the REM phase, so we will wake up feeling tired.
So, when we feel like dining on cereals, we should avoid varieties that have added sugars and choose whole grains with complex carbohydrates.
Some fruits and vegetables
It is important to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, but not all of them are easy to digest if consumed shortly before going to bed.
Cauliflower and broccoli are good examples of this. These vegetables contain tryptophan, an amino acid present in proteins that regulates sleep and plays an important role in the production of serotonin, a hormone that induces drowsiness and feelings of well-being. Unfortunately, cauliflower and broccoli are also high in fiber which makes them difficult to digest during sleep.
Other foods that are high in fiber are bran, cabbage, green leafy vegetables, celery, squash, kidney beans, and white mushrooms. We should consume these foods during the day but avoid them at night before going to sleep.
Nor are acidic fruits and vegetables such as oranges, raspberries, raw tomatoes that can cause heartburn - heartburn - are recommended.
For the same reason that we should avoid sugary cereals, we should not gorge ourselves on sweets before going to sleep. How many times have we had chocolate milk and some cookies for dinner and the next morning we had the feeling of not having rested?
Sounds amazing right? The most important liquid in our diet, of which we must consume at least two liters a day and instead is one of the foods that should be avoided before going to sleep. How can it be bad to drink water before going to bed?
Not that it's bad, but there is a good reason not to overuse water at dinner, and it's the most obvious. If we drink a lot of water - or any other liquid - before going to sleep, we will wake up during the night with the need to go to the bathroom, which will interrupt sleep and prevent us from resting properly.
Weight loss results in better control of blood sugar levels, cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. If you're overweight, you may begin to see improvements in these factors after losing as little as 5% of your body weight. However, the more weight you lose, the greater the benefit to your health and disease management.