Eating and sleep: Should you eat before you go to bed?

It’s been long debated whether eating before you go to sleep is good or bad for your health.

It’s commonly suggested that any kind of food eaten before bed is bad for you. Most people believe the food will sit in your stomach all night, however, there is an increasing belief that there are some foods that are actually advisable to eat before bed!

TEMPUR takes a look into both sides, to give you the facts on which foods are beneficial to eat before going to bed and which ones are best left in the fridge…

Reasons you should eat before bed

A bedtime snack can actually promote weight loss. Contrary to popular belief, a small snack can boost your metabolism and keep your blood sugar level stable throughout the night which will allow the hormone glucagon, which burns fat, to get to work while you sleep.

You may think this would disturb your sleep but it is actually quite the opposite. Preventing your blood sugar level from crashing will help you fall asleep faster and maintain a peaceful level of sleep throughout the night.

As most people know, a good night’s sleep is beneficial for your mind and body. A healthy snack before bed can help towards building a stronger immune system and can restore your energy levels, allowing you to wake up ready for the day ahead.

Recommended foods to eat before bed:

There are certain foods which are better to eat than others as a snack before bed. Here are some of the foods which are commonly recommended to be beneficial for you whilst you sleep:

• Cottage cheese
• Salmon
• Greek yoghurt
• Raw vegetables
• Avocado

Reasons not to eat before bed

There are, however, some negative effects of eating just before bed. A common problem which many people experience is heartburn. Lying down too soon after eating can cause a burning sensation in your chest or a reflux of stomach acid to occur.

It’s important to look at the types of foods you are eating. Spicy food, highly acidic or fatty foods can cause heartburn to occur but they can also cause insomnia. Whilst a gentle snack can aid sleep, overeating and eating the wrong foods can keep you awake all night.

There are also other health conditions which can be worsened by eating before bed such as asthma. It can be problematic for anyone who suffers from any condition effecting the lungs and bronchia’s, to eat too soon before bed as the food can sit in the stomach and affect the movement of the chest.

Foods to avoid before bed:

As not all food are recommended to eat before you go to sleep, here are some of the foods which you are generally advised to avoid:

• Dark chocolate
• Cereal
• Fruit yoghurt
• Pretzels/crisps
• Ice-cream

However, bear in mind that what works for one person may not work for you. Try different strategies and find what works for you and your specific situation.

Do you like to have a snack before bed? Let us know in the comments below…

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