Tonight’s the night. That’s what you tell yourself. Tonight you’re going to put on moisturizing gloves, turn in early and get a good night’s sleep. But without even knowing it, what you eat and drink could be sabotaging your best intentions for beauty rest.
Here are a few foods that can ruin your night’s sleep well before your head hits the pillow.
Although the sheer pleasure of a nice glass of wine (or any other booze, for that matter) right before bed is undeniable, it might be killing your sleep quality. Sure, you’ll feel nice and sleepy after a few drinks, but a few hours later all the sugar in the alcohol starts to metabolize, causing your body to become alert — making you sleep less soundly than you would if you had skipped the booze. Sorry. Go with a nice glass of warm milk instead.
Image: Flickr/Robyn Lee
Sorry to follow this up right after the wine, but your secret stash of Hershey’s Kisses hidden in the back of the silverware drawer might be why you aren’t feeling as rested as you should. Chocolate has hidden caffeine that can keep you awake. What about dark chocolate? It’s practically a health food, right? Nope. The darker the chocolate, the more caffeine it’s likely to have.
Image: Flickr/Serena Grace
Well maybe not sriracha specifically, but spicy foods before bedtime can upset your stomach, spike body temperature and cause a jolt in metabolism, all of which disrupt sleep. Chips and salsa are oh-so-fine and late-night curry in a hurry is just divine, but make sure to give yourself about six hours before bedtime after you chow down to optimize your time between the sheets.
The health benefits of staying hydrated are undeniable, but chugging every last drop from the bottle will make you have to pee in the middle of the night and wake you up. You successfully potty trained a toddler on this principle and it applies to you, too. Limit fluids in the two to three hours before bedtime and make sure to fully drain the radiator before you hit the sack.
Greasy foods like that cold, leftover pizza should be a no-go before night-night. And even pizza consumed while standing in front of an open refrigerator counts. I checked. Greasy foods like cheese and potato chips and fries — you know, everything delicious — are hard to digest and can cause heartburn. Eating a lighter dinner and a carbohydrate-rich snack before bedtime can help you sleep better. Making matters worse, studies show as we get increasingly more tired, we start to crave fatty foods. So, be aware of the growing temptation the later in the night it gets.
Image: Flickr/Elliot Gilfix
High in acid, tomatoes, oranges and even onions can trigger heartburn and acid reflux. Skip tomatoes, pizzas and even pastas with tomato sauces before bedtime to ensure your best night’s sleep.
Image: Flickr/Steven Lilley
OK, this does sound suspiciously like the total opposite of “no greasy foods.” Raw veggies like brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots are a nice low-calorie snack, but they also make you totally gassy. There’s nothing worse than waking yourself up with the noise of passing your own gas. Even when it’s just you and the cat, it’s embarrassing. But it also wakes you up and disturbs your sleep.
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