Many of us will have heard of that old adage about not eating after six o’clock in order to promote a better night’s sleep. There is something to it, but for the most part it is an example of folk medical advice that is rough at best. Indeed, devouring a large dinner with lots of fat, protein, and sugar just before leaping into bed is no way to sleep through the night. For one thing, it would simply be too uncomfortable. But there are in fact certain foods which have been generally described as suitable for a nighttime snack.
Hunger at Bedtime and Aiding Sleep
Hunger is one of the things that could be contributing to any case of insomnia. The best advice to deal with this problem then is to eat a dinner which provides you with enough nutrients and energy to see you through to the moment your head hits the pillow. Nevertheless, striking that particular balance is no easy task, and it is useful to have something to turn to when the pangs strike. As a rule, such foods are those that do not dehydrate you – one of the main interrupters of sleep.
Synergy Science, a company specializing in several water health products such as filtered water and hydrogen water, point out that hydration is in fact one of the key things to get right in your diet to promote healthy sleep. To this end, there are many products that have been designed to aid sleep through precisely this method. These can be well worth investing in if you want to create a holistic strategy to address any sleep issues.
Foods to Eat Before Bed
So, having placed the emphasis firmly where it should be – on hydration as the key factor in sleep disturbance – here follows some foods that should be okay to snack on just before bed:
Kiwis are good for sleep because they are rich in both serotonin and antioxidants, which are both known to promote a good night’s sleep. It is also important to note that although kiwis are sweet, the sugar content is far outweighed by the water content of the fruit. This is particularly important because sugar is known to promote dehydration which, in turn, can disturb sleep. Therefore, sugar content is the thing to watch for when choosing a midnight snack.
Melatonin is an important hormone for the regulation of sleep patterns, and it just so happens that it can be found in abundance in one specific fruit – the tart cherry. Regarding the sugar content, the same applies as with kiwis, and the extra melatonin content is sure to be useful for effective regulation of sleep (getting up at the same time every day is important for the same reason).
The first thing to note about nuts is that they are only good before bed if consumed in moderation, as they do have a fair degree of protein and fat, which is not good before bed. Nevertheless, nuts contain that useful melatonin, and some magnesium, which is yet another mineral known to help with combatting insomnia.
Just before bed, or as a midnight snack, you don’t want to have to spend any length of time preparing your nighttime munch. Popcorn certainly satisfies that requirement, and it can be filling without disturbing your sleep. Nevertheless, be sure that it isn’t overly salty as this can lead once more to sleep-disturbing dehydration.
There is no denying that even minor hunger pangs can seriously inhibit sleep. What a relief, then, that the no-food before bed rule isn’t entirely true. Regardless though, always be sure to eat the right thing.