I daresay everyone within the sound of my keyboard has been there in the last week and a half. It’s 30-60 minutes before bedtime, and a little nosh is in order. What kind of snack would you like? You don’t want something that will give you tummy issues. Likewise, you aren’t interested in something that tastes like hay. Mostly, though, you don’t want to eat something before bed that will make it hard to sleep. That would defeat the (apologies to DeBarge in advance) rhythm of the night. Gildshire decided to research the issue of pre-bedtime snacking. What’s good for us, what’s bad for us, or an otherwise unwise choice when it comes to late night dining? You may be surprised at some of what we found.
Good to Eat: Bananas
Did you know that bananas have tryptophan? Since we only talk about it once a year, allow us to refresh your memory. Tryptophan is the stuff in turkey that makes Uncle Les fall asleep after Thanksgiving dinner. (to be honest, we think it’s Les’ excuse for a guilt-free nap, but that’s another article). But, bananas are good to eat before bed for another reason. Their sweetness can fool your tastebuds into believing you had some dessert, and that makes them very happy.
Bad to Eat: Broccoli
You didn’t expect to see your benign green friend in here, and neither did we. What’s the problem with a tree or two before bedtime, maybe dipped in ranch dressing? The high fiber content in broccoli, as well as the other foods in the Brassicas family (cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts), are still digesting when your body is trying to relax into slumber. Broccoli is a marvelous food for your body if eaten at least four hours before bed.
Good to Eat: Sweet Potatoes
The versatile sweet potato provides some of the necessary potassium that will calm your muscles as you try to sleep. Their complex carbohydrates absorb into your system slowly, promoting the kinds of sugar levels that allow uninterrupted sleep.
Bad to Eat: Cheese
First, cheese is a high-fat food product that will linger in your digestive tract overnight, and show up on your hips as soon as tomorrow morning. Second, cheese falls into the category of sleep-inhibitors as the brassicas we mentioned earlier. The rool of thumb is this: If you eat certain foods early in the day to curb your appetite, DO NOT eat that same food before going to bed.
Good to Eat: Kiwi
More than almost any other fruit, kiwi carries the antioxidants that help you to stay healthy. Also, the serotonin present in this fruit is known to enhance the quality of your sleep, as well as how soon you fall asleep.
Bad to Eat: Ice Cream
Let’s take a moment at this juncture to mourn our bestest bedtime snack. It’s a staple for many, but that bowl of Humboldt Creamery Ice Cream you got at Costco is interfering with your sleep. Remember what we said about fat-laden cheese? The same is true with ice cream. Your body isn’t getting the restful sleep it needs if it is still breaking down your evening snack.
Did that hurt too much? Maybe the ice cream piece will take some adjustment, but most of the rest of it should be okay. Mostly, though, won’t it be nice to fall asleep and stay that way all night? Gildshire wishes you sweet dreams of the ice cream you will have with lunch.