21 Worst Foods To Eat At Bedtime


Every now and then, we feel the urge to have milk and cookies, peanut butter, chocolate, or any other guilty pleasure before going to bed. The danger of eating certain foods right before going to sleep is not their ability to turn into fat, but that they can mcause serious problems during the night, and they might could leave you sleepless.

However, you don’t have to ward off everything, as there are healthy snacks you can enjoy whenever you feel like it, but these 21 foods should be avoided if you love your beauty sleep.

1. Chili

Chili that contains beans, meat and, of course, spicy tomato sauce, is a recipe for disaster before bed. “Beans are gas-producing, red meat is high in fat and tomato sauce may cause acid reflux. A perfect storm for a not-so-sound sleep,” says Remmer.

Therefore, hot sauce, beans, and beef. Oh, my! Chili is an evil recipe for sleep disaster if you eat it close to bedtime. Hot sauce-induced heartburn, and a disgruntled stomach thanks to the beans, and beef will keep you from getting all of those eight precious hours of sleep.

Additionally, chili also contains fats, protein, emulgators from pre-made sauce, and you don’t need to have all that before you go to bed. Red meat in chili will keep your body breaking it down all night. Do not reheat your lunch, instead, munch on a banana or apple.



2. Peanut butter

Peanut butter, almond butter, or any nut butter for that matter, will cause weight gain if you make it a nightly snack. Don’t reach for the nut butter at night. Just have a large glass of unsweetened almond milk or regular milk instead, it will calm you and make you ready for deep sleep.

The calcium will also calm your nerves and take away the cravings. You can sweeten unsweetened almond milk with cinnamon, stevia and you’ll be off to sleep in no time.

Peanut butter is relatively unhealthy. It is high in protein and good fat; but it also has a lot of bad fat, calories, and sugar. The better option is to eat a small handful of raw peanuts as a mid-day snack or just eat one spoonful of peanut butter, which most people don’t do. It tends to have the Nutella effect. You eat one spoonful, then another, then another small spoon, then another tiny bite, which ends up to multiple servings.

Eating right before bed is also a no, no. It doesn’t give your body enough time to properly digest the food and it doesn’t give your metabolism enough time to burn the food, so it basically turns straight into fat. It is advised to have all of your eating done hours before bed and stay on the happy side of weight scale.


3. Spicy food

That burn in your mouth may last longer than you want it to, even if you can’t feel it internally. “These foods can produce an excess amount of stomach acid, therefore causing heartburn, bloating and discomfort which can disrupt sleep,” Remmer said.

Actually, there is some evidence suggesting that eating a spicy meal shortly before going to bed can lead to some strange dreams. In fact, eating anything too close to bedtime can trigger more dreams, because those meals increase the body’s metabolism and temperature, explains Dr. Charles Bae, MD, a sleep medicine doctor at the Sleep Disorders Center at the Cleveland Clinic. Heightened, active metabolism and high temperature can further lead to increased brain activity, prompting more action during rapid eye movement phase, or REM.


4. Fried foods

Fried foods like chips are high in fat and take a longer time to digest.

“It may take hours to fully digest fried foods. If you go to bed after eating fried foods, you will likely have trouble falling to sleep due to stomach pains, cramping and acid reflux,” Remmer explains.
When you have deep fried cravings late at night, remember that your meal will last less than an hour, but your night will take forever to end.

Plus, you will soon be able to see karma on your hips and thighs, as these foods are one of the most fattening out there. Your body serves only as storage for all that fat, and since you are not going to run or walk and use all the energy provided, you are going to wake up tired, with heartburn and with more fat permanently stuck on your thighs.


5. Sugary foods

Sugar is meant to give you an instant boost of energy, so, having a few pieces of candy isn’t be the best idea before going to bed. You should even rest before going to bed, scientists advise. Your body needs to slow its pace and get ready for sleep, as awkward as it may sound.

We know that a little bit of something sweet before bedtime may be just what you need to end a day par excellence, but if you decide to end it with a huge slice of chocolate cake, the rush in your blood-sugar levels would cause your energy levels to plummet, disrupting your sleep in the process. Not to mention unused energy that will convert to fat.

So, you should avoid cakes, cookies, or other desserts as well as snacks containing carbs, like crackers or white bread, and look for an apple instead. It is hard, yes, but you should also train your will.


6. Soda

“These drinks are high in sugar, often contain caffeine and tend to bloat, produce gas, and cause acid reflux,” Remmer says. It also doesn’t have many nutritional values and benefits, so you may just end up waking up with a full bladder.

Sugar, when not used moderately, releases energy into the body and when you are trying to relax at night, the last thing you need is an extra boost of energy, as this will keep you wide awake.

It can also contain caffeine, which can further contribute to keeping you awake at night. Sugar at night is taking away your right of a good night’s sleep. If you are looking to get to sleep, you should avoid soda as a way of ridding your body of any extra energy from sugar or caffeine sources that are often contained (or hidden) in soda drinks.



7. Ice cream

Having your girls over for a night in? Well, having a small bowl of low-fat yogurt or milk before bed won’t do any harm to your body and mind. But if you indulge in a giant bowl of chocolate ice cream, you can forget about getting a good night’s sleep.

“Ice cream contains high amounts of fat which is digested at a slow rate. It also contains a lot of sugar, which can keep you up,” Remmer explained.

If you or one of your girls is going through a bad break-up, then ribs and ice cream may sound great as comfort food, but they should be eaten hours before bedtime. Neither will allow you to fall asleep, and because of the sugar in ice cream, you might as also have nightmares.


8. Red meat

Red meat is very high in protein and also tends to be high in fat. “Both protein and fat are slowly digested, so this meat will stay in your stomach for quite a while before it is digested fully, causing discomfort and even cramping,” Remmer says.

Its fat content, its digestion challenges, and its hormones can be the cause of so-called ‘meatmares’. When you think about it, it makes sense. Hormones are completely avoidable by choosing organic meat, and that’s been proven many times, therefore, you should know better than to select non-organic cuts when you do.

For all the other health problems hormones can pose, bad dreams and nightmares hardly even register as a real issue, but this can come as really helpful when you have an early meeting or anything important in the morning, remember – no red meat the night before.


9.  Caffeine

“Caffeine is a stimulant and will over-stimulate your nervous system hindering sleep,” explains registered dietician Sarah Remmer.

Drinking coffee before bed may put you at a disadvantage if you want to rest properly. Caffeine has many adverse effects, including a rapid heart rate, tremors, anxiety and even insomnia. It can also upset your stomach and cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

You also may feel the need to urinate often as it is also a diuretic. Consuming 200 to 300 mg of caffeine during the day, which is between two and four cups of coffee, isn’t likely to be harmful. FDA advises that you refrain from drinking coffee and other caffeinated drinks in the evening so you’ll get a healthy sleep.

Maybe it would be best to stop inviting people over for coffee in the afternoon and evening, so you can get ready for a restful night. Remember that caffeine is taken in the morning so it would wake us and speed us up, so there is no need for that ‘energy injection’ in the evening and before bedtime.


10. Most vegetables

Most vegetables, especially broccoli, cabbage, onions and cauliflower are high in insoluble fiber, which moves slowly through your digestive system. “These vegetables make you full longer, but also contain gas-producing qualities,” Remmer says.

For example, in broccoli, half of the fiber is insoluble and half is soluble. The insoluble fiber only absorbs water and passes through our systems. The soluble fiber, however, is fermented (oxidized by bacteria to give them energy) in our colon, and short-chain fatty acids as well as gasses are released as byproducts.

So, in layman’s terms, what you need to know is that these veggies should not be eaten before bed as they produce gases, but also have fibers that will stick longer and make you feel full longer. Don’t be fooled, they will keep you awake!



11. Oats

Have your oatmeal in the morning, not right before going to bed. Oatmeal, bran buds and barley are all high in soluble fiber, which again can slow down digestion and cause gas. If you have problems getting to sleep or staying asleep at night, the National Sleep Foundation says that eating your last meal or snack at least two to three hours before bedtime may help.

Because of the fiber in oats, it will keep you feeling fuller, but again, don’t be fooled by it thinking it is a benefit, when actually you are slowing down your metabolism, which can lead to weight gain.

Gases can be rather unpleasant, so when you are visiting a friend or going to work, choose another breakfast or dinner, for obvious reasons.



12. Chocolate

Oh, how we do love chocolate! But, it’s one of the worst foods to eat before bedtime.
Sure, dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants, but it also contains caffeine, and a lot of sugar, which will also give you a rush you don’t actually need when you’re trying to relax, unwind, and sleep.

Dark chocolate is an exceptionally sneaky source of caffeine, which is proven to keep you up. Almost all chocolate contains some level of caffeine, and on top of that, it is loaded with stimulants like theobromine, which is known to make your heart race a little bit. You are advised to eat it before exams and before giving speeches, but not before going to bed.

However, you can eat all the white chocolate you want before bed because it , doesn’t have theobromine and is usually short on caffeine.


13. Cheese

For the lactose-intolerant or for those who suffer from regular heartburn, cheese can be one of the worst foods to eat before bedtime. It can also be heavy in your stomach while you’re trying to sleep, even if you’re not intolerant. Enjoy the cheese and crackers earlier in the day, instead.

Nigel White, Secretary of the British Cheese Board, said, “’Our Cheese and Dreams study found that while eating cheese before bed doesn’t give you nightmares, but it will help you sleep.”
“Eating different types of cheeses gave people different types of dreams.

For instance, Stilton produces very vivid, sometimes bizarre dreams, Red Leicester had people revisiting their school days and Cheddar made people dream of celebrities!” Now that you know that you can control your dreams with the food you eat, remember there could be a backlash.


14. Garlic

You might want to avoid garlic before bedtime if you’re sleeping with a partner, of course, but it’s best avoided for reasons besides bad breath. Garlic is also known as a ‘hot herb’, and, along with spicy food, it hasproperties that can cause heartburn.

It’s also known to sometimes have the side effect of upsetting the stomach, so if you have a weak stomach or are vulnerable to acid reflux, the last thing you want to do is light the fire right before you lie down to rest.

We should not eat at all at least two hours before bedtime, but these foods are chosen to be on the list as they can cause severe sleep issues, from nightmares to upset tummy, but when you add garlic breath to it, it makes sense to avoid them, as advised.


15. Hamburger

Trust us, nothing will sit as heavy in your stomach when you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep than a big, greasy, but still tasty, hamburger.

It will give you heartburn often, too. Skip the greasy burger in favor of something lighter, less greasy, and less loaded with fat. You’ll sleep a lot better. Then there is the strange fact that you will wake up feeling so hungry, that eventually you’ll have double the portion you usually have for breakfast.

Triglycerides (amount of fat in the blood) are at their highest right after we eat. And foods with high saturated fat levels (like red meat) make it even worse. Plus, free radicals (basically a cancer-promoting effect that happens when food is broken down for energy, which happens always) are floating around more after you just had a meal. There are also high levels of carcinogens in cooked meat.


16. French fries

They are greasy and salty and so delicious, but they are also another of the worst foods to eat before bed. First, the grease from the fries may end up on your fingers and face, requiring another bedtime beauty ritual. However, it is not as important as the fact that you will hardly get a good night’s sleep.

The grease will sit heavy in your tummy as you try to sleep, causing unease and even nightmares. Avoid the fries close to bedtime. If you crave something salty, why not try a handful of almond, instead. They are delicious, but not fatty.

Eating grease before bed will keep your system up and running, it will be breaking down the fat instead of resting. Furthermore, potato and grease combined can make you feel sick and tired in the morning.


17. Pasta

Pasta is an easy and quick fix for those who want to kill their craving before going to bed, but it is not an optimal nighttime snack. Not only is it filled with carbohydrates, it is one of the more calorie-dense carbohydrate sources found.

These calories are highly prone to settling around the waist as well, so you will soon be able to see karma there. In order to avoid it, it is better to save the carbohydrate-rich pasta to earlier in the day when you still plan to be active and help your body to process those harmful carbs.

If you’re still craving pasta before bed, go with some spaghetti squash instead. It’ll give the same taste and texture as pasta, with just a fraction of the carbs.


18. Celery

Yeah, it sounds awkward, but as surprising as it is, it actually should be avoided before bedtime if you are looking for a deep and restful sleep. This plant is a natural diuretic. This means it will elevate the rate of usual urination. It tends to have that effect on your body, as it pushes water through the system.

The intake of celery at bedtime should be limited and controlled. All diuretics can make you dehydrated, so if you combine them with other diuretics, such as alcohol, you might have the driest night of your life.

We all react differently to different stimuli, but some foods are just evil and want to watch the world burn. That’s why there are people who are taught to help us decide what drinks to have with what food in order to digest properly, feel great, and eventually, sleep like lions.


19. Candy bars

There is a special place for candy bars in our hearts.
But, as tempting as they might be, it is important to cross this late-night snack off your guilty pleasure list.

A recent study has shown that seven out of 10 people who eat junk foods like candy bars before bed were more likely to experience a nightmare during the night. The hypothesis says that high levels of sugar create ‘more nightmarish brain waves’.

Next time think twice before you sacrifice your good night’s sleep and succumb to the temptation of junk food. We have already said that sugar can kill your sweet dreams, but it can also cause damage to your teeth. In addition, somehow, bacteria become active at night.

The sugar will also get you all buzzed up. Try a naturally sweet alternative, like fresh berries or an apple instead. These also contain sugar, but it’s a lot less likely to give you a buzz and crash later.


20. Bread

If you want to pack on the weight in no time, just eat bread at night, but if you want to avoid weight gain, get rid of it as your nighttime snack.

Bread contains yeasts and carbs that help your body gain weight, and even crave more carbs later, leading to a nasty never-ending cycle. Don’t go for a sandwich before bed to put yourself to sleep, it will upset your stomach and make you fat.

Furthermore, gluten is a protein found in wheat and rye grains. Although gluten does not adversely affect most people, about 18 million people in the United States suffer from gluten sensitivity, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Gluten sensitivity can cause numerous symptoms, including abdominal pain, headaches and fatigue after consuming bread and other grain products, and you don’t need that before bedtime.


21. Alcohol

Do you drink before bed? Alcohol may knock youout and dehydrate youd. Remmer warns that if you are having a few cups (or bottles), you might also wake up in the middle of the night feeling thirsty.

If you drink a lot, you may have to get up during the night to go to the toilet, as alcohol is a diuretic, as well. And it’s not just the liquid you’ve drunk during the day that you’ll be getting rid of. It actually encourages the body to lose extra fluid through sweat too, eventually making you dehydrated.

Drinking can also make you snore loudly. It relaxes the muscles in your body, which means the tissue in your throat, mouth and nose can stop air flowing through smoothly, vibrations and snoring.

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