After a long tiring day, it is time to hit the bed finally. But as you prepare to pull down the sheets there is an urge that creeps in and before you are aware of it, you start hogging the food.
Many people consume too much food during bedtime. This condition is known as night eating syndrome which is caused due to stress, mood disorder, genetic tendencies, depression, hormonal imbalances, eating disorder, obesity and anxiety.
Some people eat before going to bed to ensure a sound sleep.
One can find that some people are totally unaware of their binge eating disorder.
There is no harm in eating when you are feeling hungry but eating healthy food during bedtime is the key to preventing insomnia and weight gain.
Healthy Bedtime Snacks
A bowl of plain Oatmeal that is topped with one mashed banana can be a filling and tasty supper. You can also add some dry fruits or a dash of honey to add flavor and vitamins to it.
A slice of multigrain bread along with a low-fat cheese slice.
A sandwich with peanut butter spread can keep you full until morning. It is the best snack food that is loaded with important protein and fats.
A cup of nonfat Greek yoghurt along with some blueberries added to it can be very filling. It does not contain any sugars like that of a flavored yoghurt.
Whole grain crackers can make a perfect crunchy snack that can give you a feeling of fullness for a long time. You can dip it in cheese that can give you calcium and other nutrients.
A hard boiled egg with whole grain toast slices can make a healthy snack. It is rich in protein and various other vitamins as well as low in calories. You can also try scrambled egg that can be spread over your toast.
Roasted or raw nuts that are delicious and packed with some essential nutrients and fats can serve as an ideal snack during bedtime. Almonds are the best choice since they contain good carbohydrates.
An apple is a healthy snack option since it is loaded with nutrients and high in fibre. It is low in calories and known to reduce the risk of many diseases like diabetes, depression and heart disease.
Air popped popcorn can make a healthy and substantial snack. You can add some olive oil or salt to it to add some flavour to it.
Banana is a delicious fruit that is rich in potassium and easily digested. It can stop you from reaching a biscuit if you are not craving for something savoury.
Salads can make an excellent snack for those who are seeking to shed their weight. You can pack a bowl with some leafy greens such as lettuce, watercress, celery, kale, spinach and sliced cucumber and drizzle olive oil to give it a flavour.
A spoonful of nut butter like cashew nut or almond butter can be spread on whole wheat bread slice or celery to make a high protein, fibre and low-calorie snack.
Sunflower seeds can be a healthy snack option since they are best sources of vitamin E, selenium and magnesium. These are loaded with healthy fibre and fats that can keep your hunger pangs away. You can also roast it at home by sprinkling some cinnamon on them.
Herbal tea is something that can be sipped with your snack. It is better to keep away from caffeinated beverages and opt for this brilliant health booster drink. You can try lavender or chamomile if you are looking for a soothing alternative. These teas taste great and are full of antioxidants that control the free radicals in the body. They do not overstimulate the body like that of traditional coffee or tea.
Foods To Be Avoided
It is not a good idea to restrict night time binging unless you opt for some healthy snacks. Eating unhealthy snacks can cause insomnia due to poor digestion.
You can also experience acid reflux when you consume food just before bedtime, and it can interrupt your sleep cycle. Many food items should be avoided before bedtime.
#1 High caffeine Food
Several studies indicate that 30 mg of caffeine can cause disruptive and alarming effects on your sleep.
It releases higher stress hormones like adrenaline that can lead to insomnia. It also causes headaches, restlessness and dizziness.
People develop a tolerance to caffeine and differ regarding sensitivity to it.
It can kill several important nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and calcium in the body. It greatly weakens the immune system of the body.
#2 High dairy products
High dairy products like a bowl of ice cream are full of fat and gives you energy which sends divergent messages to your body before you hit the bed. Moreover, the sugar stored gets converted into fat.
So if you want to enjoy a peaceful sleep you must stop consuming high dairy products before hitting the bed.
Pizza is a large and heavy meal by itself that contains a large amount of fat.
The tomato sauce on its layer can result in gastric acid reflux in some people. The high fat cheese and meat toppings can worsen the problem of heartburn.
Surprisingly this vegetable should not be eaten before bedtime since it is known to be a natural diuretic that pushes water through your system.
Compels you to use the bathroom all night. So it is better to limit the intake of celery before bedtime to achieve an uninterrupted sleep.
#5 Spicy Food
Eating a highly seasoned and big meal before bedtime can disturb your sleep.
The spice in the food can cause heartburn. However, you can consume spicy food three hours before bedtime.
Fiery foods result in indigestion thereby affecting your sleep quality.
#6 Candy Bars
A recent study indicates that people who eat candy bars during bedtime are more prone to nightmares.
The high amount of sugar in it produces nightmarish brain waves. So if you want to sleep peacefully stay away from having candy bars as a late night snack.
These tasty snacks are high in fat that can cause weight gain. They can make you bloated and uncomfortable when had before bedtime. They can disrupt your sleep and also cause stomach pains.
Alcohol is an important factor in keeping you awake for several times during the night. It reduces your sleep time by about 19 minutes and results in loss of concentration and disorientation the next day. It completely dehydrates your body and makes the body wake for water.
Due to dehydration, your body cannot complete the REM sleep cycle. Alcohol can worsen the problem of insomnia. So it is best to refrain from alcohol.
#9 Red Meat
Red meat contains a high amount of fats and proteins that take a long time to get digested in the body.
Your body faces a hard time breaking it down for the whole night thus causing you discomfort while sleeping. It is a nice habit to avoid consuming red meat just before going to bed.