Does the food we eat really affect the way we sleep?
Does it matter how late we eat? Do our bodies need food to sleep?
There have always been questions ﬂoating around concerning food and rest, from not eating carbohydrates before bed to avoiding chocolate and heavy meals. Take a look below as we sort through the myths and get to the truth of which foods can affect sleep, and which foods cannot.
Food contains more calories at night.
FALSE. Day time calories are the same as night time calories, and food is just as beneﬁcial in the evening as it is in the day. As usual, you only gain weight if you are eating more calories than you are actually burning, leading to an increase in fat distribution.
Remember, the time you eat is not as important as the quantity you eat, yet overeating can be avoided with good nights’ sleep.
It is advised to ﬁnish eating three hours before sleep.
TRUE. If you grow hungry again later into the evening, then opt for a light, carbohydrate-rich snack like a banana or some whole-grain crackers and peanut butter.
Skipping breakfast means you eat less in the evening.
FALSE. Skipping the most important meal of the day means that you often experience more hunger than usual in the evening, leading to an over-reliance on sugary food and an increase in food quantity. Ensure that you are getting the sleep you need in order to feel rested and ready for the morning and for preparing breakfast. A good breakfast of slow release carbs can be the best way to avoid an over-reliance on sugar come the evening.
Food gives you nightmares.
TRUE. If you eat just before heading to bed then your body is busy digesting your meal all night long, leading to discomfort and wakefulness throughout the night and often a bloated feeling come the morning. Opt for ﬁnishing your meal a few hours before heading to bed to wake in the morning bloat-free and rested.