In past blogs we have focused on the importance of adequate sleep for your overall health. When you’re not sleeping well, you produce stress hormones that interrupt your appetite and metabolism. Poor sleep habits can actually make you gain weight, along with increasing your odds of getting sick.

So, we know that sleep can influence food cravings… But the foods you eat can also disrupt your sleep!

Watch out for caffeine. You already know caffeine helps you stay awake. That’s why many people immediately reach for a cup of coffee each morning. But caffeine might lurk in more foods than just coffee. Remember not to consume sodas, teas, or chocolate after about 3 pm.

Hold off on the heat. Some people love their spicy foods, but eating them too close to bedtime can cause indigestion and reflux. You’re more likely to wake up sporadically all night, feeling uncomfortable or in pain.

Avoid alcohol before bed. Alcohol decreases the amount of time you spend in the deeper stages of sleep, and therefore you might feel tired and sluggish the next day.

Limit fatty or fried foods. Heavy meals can cause gastric reflux, especially if you go to bed soon after eating. Then, you might not sleep well all night, causing you to skip your morning workout (that you really need after such a heavy meal)! It’s better to stay away from overly fatty, fried food in general. But if you do indulge, do it at lunch time.

The above are some of the worst offenders… So what makes for a safe bedtime snack? Try a warm drink (without the caffeine, of course), bananas, high-protein snacks, cottage cheese, or yogurt. Of course, avoid dairy if it upsets your stomach.

For more information on how your diet can influence not only weight loss, but also your sleep habits and general health, give us a call. We can analyze your dietary needs and help you make a plan to get healthier.