Eating late? Eat light!

With most of us leading busy lives during the day, getting a good night’s sleep is vital to our careers, relationships and overall happiness. To encourage drifting off into that all-important slumber, and avoid laying there awake until the small hours, food nutritionist Madeleine Shaw shares her thoughts on the sort of foods you should consider eating in the evenings.

When it comes to choosing a meal to eat in the evenings, the trick is to keep it light. While reaching for something carb-heavy may be tempting after a long day at work, heavy, stodgy foods tend to sit low in our stomachs and can cause discomfort when we do eventually lay down to go to sleep. This can result in endless hours of tossing, turning and counting down the hours to when your alarm goes off.

Which foods should I eat before bed?

Protetin-heavy foods are a no-no for eating late at night as your body will have to work twice as hard to break it all down. However, if you are looking to indulge in a snack before bedtime, lighter options such as a banana or fruit smoothie are good for keeping hunger pangs at bay. Bananas are actually a great option as they help the body produce melatonin, which is a sleep hormone, which encourages us to drift into a natural, restful slumber.

Sugary foods could also disrupt your sleep, so it’s not the best idea to grab a handful of sweets before bed! However, if you do crave chocolate at night it’s better to choose a darker option as this contains less sugar – but do bear in mind that many dark chocolates contain caffeine, so try to avoid eating this in large amounts.

Top tip: Try to leave a two to three-hour gap between eating and going to bed.

For more sleep advice and news, stay up to date with the Bensons blog.

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