Why Are You Hungry Before Bed?
By Stepy Kamei
I'm sure I'm not the only one who's experienced the pangs of hunger as I'm trying to wind down before bed. However, if this is something that's familiar to you on a regular basis, you may need to look into why that's the case, for the sake of your health. Occasionally, late night snacking can be satisfying, but it's not necessarily the healthiest habit we can partake in. If you must eat a snack shortly before bed, make sure you know which foods are best and worst so it doesn't end up interfering with the quality of your sleep or your overall health.
First, Figure Out Why You're Hungry
You may be surprised to learn that you crave food late at night for a different health reason. Maybe you're feeling stressed or understandably tired -- both of which can cause you to feel hungry even when your body doesn't need nutrients. Alternatively, you may not be getting enough nutrition during the day and your body is trying to make up for it at night.
Ultimately, if you're going to snack at night, keep these tips in mind.
Don't Eat Heavy
I've been using the word "snack" as opposed to "meal" for a reason. Try not to indulge in heavy, rich foods and meals shortly before going to sleep. Eating too much food right before bed can cause issues with your digestive system, which may in turn cause you to toss and turn throughout the night while experiencing ailments such as heartburn and stomach cramps.
The Foods to Snack On
Lucky for us, there are loads of foods out there that we can munch on late at night without having to worry about negative effects on our digestion or sleep. When it comes to fresh fruit, cherries and kiwi are your best bet if you're craving something sugary or sweet. Cherries naturally contain the hormone melatonin, which is responsible for regulating your sleep cycle. Kiwi provides the hormone serotonin, which has been linked with proper rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. You may want to consider drinking valerian root tea as well, for a natural calming sleep inducer.
Foods to Avoid
You should be avoiding caffeinated products for obvious reasons. This includes coffee, soda, and chocolate. Spicy foods are also off the table; they can cause heartburn and stomachaches. Finally, you'll also want to avoid drinking too much water, since this may cause you to run to the bathroom in the middle of the night.