We've all felt the urge to get out of bed and have a snack. Who hasn't succumbed to the call of a packet of crisps in front of their favourite TV series just before bedtime? Should we allow ourselves to eat everything without restriction, especially before enjoying a good night's sleep? You may not like the answer...
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A problematic calorie overload
If snacking in the evening leads you to exceed your daily calorie intake, it would be best to avoid this bad habit. In fact, it's best not to have an extra late-night snack if you want to get a good night's sleep. The reason for this? You could simply put your digestive system to the test.
Difficult digestion leads to poorer quality sleep. Also, if you go to bed shortly after eating, you run the risk of suffering from heartburn and therefore not getting enough sleep, or at least not a good night's sleep.
Digestion time: why eat three hours before going to bed?
It is advisable to stop eating 2 to 3 hours before going to bed, so as not to overload the stomach and to facilitate digestion, which takes place in a sitting or standing position rather than lying down. This is also why we talk about a 'digestive walk' after a big family meal, for example. So, as you can see, don't lie down immediately after eating, for better digestion and above all to avoid storing unhealthy fats! It's at this time of day that the body stores the most fat, so the more you eat, the more you store... Logical! Beyond that, it's important to ban certain foods if you want to sleep peacefully.
Foods to avoid before going to bed for a good night's sleep
Coffee and drinks containing caffeine, such as certain soft drinks, should be avoided before bedtime. It's even advisable to stop drinking them after 4pm, as it takes at least 5 hours for the caffeine to be assimilated by the body. Instead, opt for thyme tea, which will help your digestion, or camomile tea.
Alcohol dehydrates you, and if you drink it, you risk waking up during the night to drink, disrupting your sleep. What's more, your sleep won't be restful at all... A small glass of wine with a meal is always pleasant and tolerated, but be sure to leave at least two hours between that glass and bedtime.
Chips, doughnuts, egg rolls and other fried foods that we enjoy are not recommended for dinner. As the body stores more fat during the sleep period, it also runs the risk of storing these fats!
Avoid eating Thai or Indian food in the evening - it could well save your evening and your night! Spicy food causes heartburn and makes digestion more difficult, especially if you're not used to it!
The best foods for a good night's sleep
So what should you eat? Some foods help to synthesise serotonin, while others can interfere with sleep. To guarantee a good night's sleep, your diet should include foods rich in tryptophan. Here is a short, non-exhaustive list of these foods to help you sleep better.
- Dairy products
- Starchy foods (or carbs) such as pasta, brown rice, wholemeal bread and potatoes
- Hot drinks such as herbal teas, rooibos, hot lemons, etc.
Now you know all the secrets to a good, restful night's sleep and a strong stomach. Now it's off to the arms of Morpheus!
This article has been translated from Oh!MyMag FR.