We all do it. Sneak over to the fridge to grab a quick snack before hitting the sack. While getting peckish just before bedtime is actually quite common, there is a lot of opinions that eating before bed is bad for you. In fact, if you eat the right thing just before you go to bed, it can actually promote weight loss. What’s more, when you skip your regular bedtime snack it cause your blood sugar levels to crash shortly after you fall asleep. That means you don’t sleep well and that pack on the pounds. So skipping your bedtime snack can actually cause weight gain. So what should you eat before you go to sleep? To help you decide, we’ve put together this handy guide.
Kiwi is full of Vitamin C and potent antioxidant properties, both of which help to boost your immune system, enhance cell protection and repair your body. Good for children, great for your overall health and very tasty, kiwi is often referred to as a ‘superfood’. What’s more, they’ve been proven to have significant benefits for sleep. One study conducted in New Zealand found the kiwi fruit:
- Helped people fall asleep more quickly
- Helped people sleep more soundly
- Improved the overall quality of sleep
- Increased the overall time spent sleeping during the night
Tea & Figs
Many people love having a cup of tea right before bed simply for the tradition of it. This tradition actually tells your body that it is almost time for bed and can begin the cycle of winding down once the tea is ingested. It’s why there has been an increase in the sale of ‘sleepy time’ teas made from the same compounds used in supplements that promote sleep, like valerian or chamomile. Once the tea is caffeine-free or herbal, this is a tradition that should be kept up. What’s more, ginger tea has been shown to work as a digestive aid before bed. For a side of much-needed fibre, why not throw in some figs too.
Warm milk, toast & bananas
Carbohydrate-rich foods like toast trigger insulin production. This induces sleep by speeding up the release of tryptophan, a chemical that helps to relax the body and send it off to sleep. Like toast, milk releases serotonin, another great body relaxer. And like milk, bananas are high in calcium, which promotes sleep. So all in all, bananas on toast alongside a warm glass of milk should set you up nicely for a great night’s sleep.
As any cereal lover will tell you, it’s not just for mornings. In fact, getting stuck in a bowl before bed can help you fall asleep at night. Cereals that are made from corn, oats, wheat, rice and barley all contain melatonin and tryptophan, which we’ve seen before, relax the body and aid the onset of sleep. What’ve more whole grains cereals are even considered complex carbs, which aid healthy digestion and enhance optimal brain function? So once it’s a healthy brand and low in sugar, a bowl of cereal before bed is the perfect start to a good night’s sleep.
Cherries & Walnuts
Cherries are the perfect fruit for allowing your body to process and recover from all the activity and muscle breakdown of the day. In fact, a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that those who drank just one ounce of cherry juice a day slept longer and more soundly than those who didn’t. Like some of the foods listed above, cherries have a high melatonin content, which acts as a natural sleep aid. Drinking a glass of cherry juice before bed tells the body it’s time to start shutting down. Like cherry juice, walnuts are full to the brim with melatonin – just the thing you need to improve your sleep-wake cycle, so you can drift off with ease. However, nuts are high in calories, so stick to a one-ounce serving like a generous handful.
Chickpeas are an important source of magnesium, tryptophan and vitamin B6, all of which help relax the human body. Like many of the foods listed above, they also contain naturally occurring levels of melatonin. So if you find yourself craving a small snack before bedtime, why not throw some hummus on whole-grain crackers or dip carrot pieces in some and enjoy.
See us for a great night’s sleep
Whatever you snack on before heading off to bed, lets not forget that one of the best ways to guarantee a good night’s sleep is investing in a high-quality mattress. With over 30 years providing the best mattresses for customers across the country, The Natural Sleep Company can help you find whatever you need to know before you buy the right mattresses for you and your family. You’ll find a host of great solutions and advice on our main blog, and our team of dedicated experts are standing by to help you in any way they can.