Lifestyle

Sleep expert shares one food we should all avoid before bed

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While going to bed hungry can disturb sleep, so can a common night-time snack.

Being tired all day long could be a sign of an underlying health problem.

Not getting enough proper sleep can leave you feeling tired all day.

An expert has shared a common bedtime mistake many of us make that could be harming our chances of a refreshing night’s sleep.

While people’s eating windows vary, a lot of people have an after-dinner snack and this can often be cereal. And while it is good to not go to bed hungry, choosing the wrong type of cereal could actually harm the prospects of a proper rest, according to Ashley Hainsworth from Bed Kingdom.

He told Gloucestershire Live: “We should be paying close attention to what exactly is in the cereal, as choosing unwisely can have the opposite effect and keep us up.

“Studies have shown there is a direct link between higher sugar consumption and poor sleep quality, which should be kept in mind when choosing a before-bed snack. Cereals high in sugar give us energy, stimulate the brain and can increase restlessness so should be avoided before bed if possible.

“Instead, choose a wholegrain-based cereal low in sugar and calories, or consider other options such as a natural yoghurt or a handful of nuts. Ideally, your late evening snack will offer a balance of fibre, protein and fat to reduce the risk of a restless night.”

Consuming a large amount of sugar leads to a rise in insulin and blood sugar levels, causing a spike in energy followed by a crash. And many cereals can be high in sugar, which is also linked to a range of other health issues such as obesity.

While avoiding the sweet stuff is highly recommended to boost the chances of a restful night, some other foods and drinks can help, too. Chamomile tea has long been a popular choice given it has a mild sedative effect that can help induce sleep.

Kiwis are also used by some people thanks to their serotonin content, a brain chemical that helps regulate sleep. Meanwhile, Mr Ainsworth also revealed a few common evening habits that can be detrimental to a good rest.

He added: “Stimulating substances such as caffeine and alcohol should be avoided at night time if you want to have a good sleep. Spicy foods are notorious for causing heartburn, which can be uncomfortable and keep us awake. And refined foods and grains such as white bread, a popular choice for late evening toast, can also raise blood sugar levels before bed.”

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