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The Best and Worst Foods to Eat Before Bed

Father and Son Eating Cereal
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If you’re not sleeping well these days, maybe you need to switch up your eating habits (especially what you’re eating close to bedtime). You always hear that you shouldn’t eat anything before bed, but there may be some foods that actually help you sleep better. Yahoo has a list of the five best and worst foods to eat before bed:

5 Best Foods to Eat Before Bed:

  1. Cereal and Milk. Sugary cereals are bad, but the healthy combination of carbohydrates and protein helps your body produce hormones that will help you relax before bed.
  2. Passion fruit. You can eat the raw fruit, or drink passion fruit juice or tea. It contains a chemical called somniferum, which helps bring on sleep.
  3. Bananas. They have a lot of magnesium, which is a muscle relaxant. The potassium can also help regulate sleep patterns.
  4. Cherry juice. It has extremely high levels of melatonin, a chemical in the brain that helps you relax. A recent study in a journal of nutrition found that people who drank two glasses of cherry juice a day slept an average of 39 minutes longer than usual.
  5. Warm milk. This one might have more to do with the fact that it’s warm, as opposed to any chemicals in the milk. So non-caffeinated tea would work just as well, if you don’t load it up with sugar.

5 Worst Foods to Eat Before Bed:

  1. High-protein foods. Too much protein will just give you a lot of energy, and keep you awake longer. Sleep experts recommend high-carb snacks under 200 calories instead.
  2. Alcohol. A lot of people get sleepy when they drink…but it won’t last. You won’t reach as deep a sleep and tend to wake up earlier.
  3. Fatty foods. These can cause heartburn or upset stomach after you lie down.
  4. Spicy foods. Sometimes you can have nightmares after eating spicy foods (one study also found that people who ate spicy foods before bed tended to have higher body temperatures in the first part of the night, which caused them to wake up more).
  5. Caffeine. You probably knew that caffeine will keep you awake, but some people don’t realize that it keeps working for up to ten hours (if you’re serious about getting a good night’s sleep, you should try to avoid caffeine from lunch until bedtime).

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