Midnight Snacks: Good or Bad?

Midnight Snacks: Good or Bad?

Posted in Sleep Better
read time
3 mins

Midnight snacks: I love them! But are they any good for us?

Research has shown that we should all avoid eating during the last few hours before bed. So, I figured I'd test this theory out.

I'm not going to lie, it was hard to begin with. Gazing longingly at the doughnuts and eclairs my family was eating - it was hard to resist!

 

You could say I'm a bit of a snack-addict!

 

Sugar-dusted, jam-filled donuts at a market stall
Photo by Leon Ephraim

 

Testing my willpower

 

I will admit, the first few weeks were hard. If I wanted a late night treat, I'd sneakily eat one. You could say I'm a bit of a snack-addict!

However, it did get easier. I made sure that at least one day per week was snack-free. After the second week, I pushed myself to make sure I went two days without a tasty treat.

And so on, and so on... Until I got to the point where I could go a full week without having a late-night morsel. If I did have a snack, it was a healthy one.

Discovering foods that were bad for my sleep was a real eye-opener. I never knew that there was so much that I couldn't eat!

 

What food is bad for sleep?

 

To figure out what midnight snacks I should stop eating, I did a lot of research.

But this research wasn't conclusive. For instance, some say that cheese is good for you - others tell you to stay away from it!

I found out that eating certain types of food close to bedtime can really harm your sleep, so I decided to create a list of culprits to avoid.

Here are my top 5 no-nos:

  1. Caffeine
  2. Milk chocolate
  3. Burgers
  4. Alcohol
  5. Spicy foods

So it looks like no more late-night treats for me!

 

Rocky road chocolate bars tied up with string
Photo by Yoori Koo

 

What food is good for sleep?

 

To help you drop the bad food, it only seems fair that I give you some healthier alternatives. Foods high in carbohydrates, vitamin C, selenium and lycopene are all a surefire way to help you sleep better at night.

Being the world's pickiest eater, I thought finding healthy food I'd like would be hard. But it was actually pretty easy! So if I can do it, I'm sure you can, too.

Here are a just a few of my favourites:

  1. Herbal teas
  2. Dark chocolate
  3. Bananas
  4. Cherries
  5. Oatmeal
  6. Honey
  7. Edamame beans
  8. Yogurt

Finding what works best for you is key. It took me a few weeks to notice the difference these midnight snacks had on my sleep so don't worry if you don't notice a difference straight away.

 

Deep red juicy cherries
Photo by Roksolana Zasoadko

 

Does it work?

 

Yes, it does!

I've found that getting rid of those naughty midnight snacks has really helped to improve my sleep. It doesn't take me as long to fall asleep, and when I am asleep - I stay asleep.

Keep in mind that eating healthier snacks will only get you so far in your quest for a great night's sleep.

I combined healthy eating with regular daily exercise to improve my sleep - and now I definitely wake up feeling ready for my day ahead!