Nutritionist reveals the 5 foods you should avoid before bed – and what to eat instead | The Sun

WHEN you get peckish before sleep, you might reason with yourself that your grumbling stomach will keep you up if you don't nibble on something.

But what if your pre-bedtime snack actually leaves you tossing and turning for hours?

Sleep experts at Beneden Health have shared certain foods it's best to give a miss if you've been finding it hard to sleep.

And though there are foods that you can safely consume that won't disrupt your snooze time, they recommended you avoid eating too late at night as your body will convert whatever you much on into energy.

They added that large portions of nosh late at night could also disrupt digestion.

Without further ado, here are the five worst foods to eat before bed.

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1. Chocolate

It makes sense that we shouldn't sip on a cup of tea or coffee before going to sleep, as the caffeine levels might give you a burst of energy instead of readying your body for sleep.

But Beneden Health experts shared that the high levels of caffeine in chocolate also make it a poor choice for late night snacking, as does the sugar.

2. Cheese

Who doesn't love a nibble of cheese after dinner?

Sadly, the creamy, comforting snack is actually one of the worst foods you can indulge in before bed.

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Strong or aged cheese contains naturally high levels of the amino acid called tyramine, which make us feel alert, according to Beneden Health.

Tyramine makes your adrenal gland to release the ‘fight or flight’ hormone, making you feel buzzing and alert for hours.

The same goes tasty cured meats like ham and pepperoni, as well as bacon.

3. Spicy stuff

A hot curry or chilli are delicious dinner options.

But spicy food – as well as condiments such as hot sauce and mustard – can interfere with your body's temperature regulation and wreak havoc on your much needed hours of shuteye.

On top of raising your body temperature, high levels of energy are need to digest the spices, making deep sleep pretty impossible.

4. Ice cream

There's a reason it's called a 'sugar rush' – too much of the sweet stuff can send your blood sugar levels spiking, only for them to crash while you sleep.

This is the case for ice cream as well as sweets, cakes and biscuits.

According to Healthline, foods that cause significant spikes and drops in your blood sugar levels triggers the release of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which can lead to symptoms like anxiety, hunger, and irritability.

Though you might initially feel sleepy from the food, these changes in hormones can cause you to wake up later in the night.

5. Crisps

What makes crisps so very tasty is the amount of salt sprinkled on them.

Unfortunately, too much salt can dehydrate your body while also increasing water retention, causing tiredness and fatigue according to Beneden Health.

A study at the European Society of Endocrinology found that salty foods, such as crisps and salted nuts, could lead to disrupted or light sleep.  

Experts recommend staying away from salty foods at least two to three hours before bed if you need a good sleep.


You're probably left thinking: "Well, what can I eat?"

Experts at Beneden Health shared another five foods that you can safely snack on at night.

They include:


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  1. cherries or cherry juice – the fruit naturally contain melatonin
  2. raw honey can stimulate melatonin and shut off neuropeptides making us feel alert – have it with hot water and lemon
  3. bananas – high levels of magnesium which relax the muscles and calm the body
  4. almonds also contain muscle-relaxing magnesium
  5. turkey is high in tryptophan that acts as a natural mood regulator

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