Ever have a late-night food craving? Learn what to eat, and the relationship between sleep and food!
Before we get into late-night snacks and what to eat and avoid before bed, let’s get a couple things straight. The food we eat before bed impacts our ability to sleep well. Caffeinated food, sugary food, and fattening food can make a night of sleep worse.
On the flip side, a bad night of sleep, and more notably sleep deprivation, actually impacts our food-based decisions the following day. Sleep deprivation increases levels of ghrelin, a hormone that signals hunger to your brain. Thus, when you lack sleep, your brain falsely thinks you’re hungry! Not only will you be hungry after a bad night’s sleep, but you’ll also be more likely reach for the greasy, the artificial, and the really yummy treat-meal only snacky bites. Sleep loss can cause stress eating too. All around, no good. In fact, studies show that sleep deprivation directly causes weight gain.
So, food and sleep are a two-way street. Make healthy eating decisions to have a good night of sleep, and have a good night of sleep to make healthy eating decisions the next day!
What To Eat
There is absolutely nothing wrong before eating before bed if you’re hungry. It’s important, however, to be mindful of what you’re eating. Avoid sugary, caffeinated, and fattening foods. Go for healthy options that calm the body and mind. Here are a few suggestions:
- A handful of almonds. Almonds contain tryptophan and magnesium, which slow down muscle and nerve function and can help you sleep.
- A teaspoon of raw honey. The level of glucose in honey activates the circulation of tryptophan to your brain and calms you down. It even helps you burn fat while you sleep.
- A smoothie of banana, kale, cinnamon, and almond milk. Bananas contain tryptophan. Kale is high in calcium, which generates melatonin and induces sleep. Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar.