The question of whether to eat before bed is a common one, and there is a lot of contradicting information available on the topic. Ultimately, the sleep experts at Restwell Mattress, a mattress company in Minneapolis, MN, believe the answer is individuals should do what works best for their bodies. Here are a few things to consider.
Eating certain foods before going to bed can definitely help with sleep. There are some foods that are rich in nutrients or hormones that can aid in falling asleep, staying asleep, and help with other sleep problems. A good example is dairy products. Dairy has protein, which can stabilize blood sugar levels overnight, and calcium, which can reverse calcium deficiencies that have been linked to poor sleep quality. Calcium can also help the brain process tryptophan, and tryptophan is very good at making the body feel tired. Eating sleep promoting foods is very common solution for those who struggle with sleeping or poor sleep quality. Some foods are very effective for those who also struggle with occasional insomnia.
Some nutritional professionals say eating before going to bed can boost metabolism. Eating a meal or a snack full of protein can stabilize blood sugar and keep the digestive system working while asleep. This can help burn fat and keep metabolism running overnight.
There is also a flip side to this argument, however. Other nutrition professionals say fasting is good for the body and that it can reset the metabolism to work better. Fasting after dinner and not eating until breakfast the next morning is also said to be very good for the body and digestive system. But if going to bed hungry may be detrimental to the metabolism and blood sugar, it can make sleeping difficult. There is a lot of research that suggests a full belly can help people fall asleep and stay asleep. This is usually because foods trigger the release of melatonin, contain tryptophan, or spike blood sugar levels. Any of these things, or a combination of all three, can promote sleep and help with falling asleep.
Eating late at night has been linked to overeating, so a there is a lot of information to suggest that not eating after a certain time of night is a good way to maintain or lose weight. Though this may be helpful for some people that struggle with weight issues, calories can’t tell time. Eating before bed is a personal decision that may help or hinder each person differently. Listen to your body!
There is a lot of contradicting information about eating before bed. Some find that eating before bed can help them fall asleep and stay asleep, while others may find it doesn’t help and may even cause weight gain. We recommend you make the decisions that help the most with your sleep cycles and quality of sleep. In addition to a healthy diet, with meals timed for your body’s needs, a good mattress has an enormous effect on sleep qualities.
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