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What not to eat before bedtime

What not to eat before bedtime is about knowing what food and drinks to avoid in the evening, and most importantly eating the right combination of foods to fight insomnia. So read on to know firstly, what not to eat or drink before bed. And secondly, bedtime snacks that can help you sleep.

What Not To Eat Or Drink Before Bed

what not to eat before bedtime


 It should be obvious, but you should avoid caffeinated drinks and foods. Such as coffee, tea, many soft drinks, and chocolate several hours before bed. Caffeine is a natural chemical that activates the central nervous system. This means that it revs up your nerves and thought processes. And if you are sensitive to caffeine, that excitation is not pleasant. You feel jittery and slightly ill. So, if you drink caffeinated drinks too close to bedtime, chances are it will keep you awake. Of course, what “too close” means is totally individual-related. The advice is that sensitive people should stop drinking caffeine at least eight hours before bedtime, placing your last caffeine at 3 p.m. for an 11 pm bedtime. However, you can always play with your particular timing. The warning is just not to experiment on a night when you absolutely need a good night’s sleep.


Although you may want to use alcohol to help you relax before bed, the effects can wear off. What happens then is that you end up waking up in the middle of the night. Over time, alcohol-induced sleep becomes less restful making sleepiness a constant fact of your life. Therefore do not use alcohol like a .sleeping pill. Alternatively, steer clear of alcohol for a few weeks to see if your sleep problem resolves on its own.

Huge And Heavy Meals

what not to eat before bedtime

Eating a huge dinner, or even a large before-bedtime snack, may make you feel drowsy, but the sleep may not necessarily come. Because when you lie down and try to sleep, your digestion will slow down, make you feel uncomfortable, and possibly keep you awake. The recommendation is to eat dinner which has no more than 600 calories. Suggestions for such light meals will include:

  • Greens and small rice
  • Sandwich
  • Milky beverage
  • Piece of fruit or mixed fruit salad

But, the rule of thumb is to eat a smaller portion of your lunch for dinner. And optimally at least three hours before bed.

Avoid liquids 90 minutes before bed

This is the best piece of advice if you wake up in the middle of the night to visit the bathroom.  Hence, do not drink water or fluids within 90 minutes of bedtime. This is because it takes that long for your body to process liquid of any type. As such, if you must drink to take medication, take a small sip. But if the medication requires a full glass of water, take it earlier in the evening if possible.

Bedtime Snacks That Help You Sleep  

what not to eat before bedtime

So now you know what to avoid at bedtime, we suggest snacks that actually help you to sleep.

One of the best natural sedatives is tryptophan, an amino acid component of many plant and animal proteins. Tryptophan is one of the ingredients necessary for the body to make serotonin, best known for creating feelings of calm, and for making you sleepy. In order to work effectively, combine foods that have some tryptophan with ample carbohydrates. It is this combination that allows tryptophan to make its way to the brain and be converted to serotonin, which causes sleepiness.  

The caution is that serotonin-producing bedtime snacks should not be more than 200 calories. And should be eaten at least 30 minutes before going to bed. Here are a few great ideas:

Bedtime snacks for adults

6-8 oz container of non-fat, flavored yogurt topped with 2 tablespoons of low-fat granola cereal
Sliced apple with 1-2 teaspoons of natural peanut butter
3 cups low-fat popcorn – sprinkled with optional 1 tablespoon crushed nuts  

Bedtime snacks for teenagers

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One cup of healthy cereal with low-fat milk
Low-fat granola bar
A scoop of vanilla or strawberry low-fat ice cream

Bedtime snacks for children

1/2 cup low-fat vanilla pudding
1/2 banana with 1-2 teaspoons peanut butter
One cup skim milk with a bunch of grapes (or other fruit)

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