Before bed: what you should and shouldn’t eat

Choose the right foods to help you sleep better. Would you eat food if you knew it would interfere with your ability to fall asleep easily?

Here’s a look at which foods help us get a good night’s sleep and which ones to avoid.

Can I eat before I go to bed?

Fortunately, there’s no harm in eating a little before bed.

Of course, the premise is to eat a little food, not too much.

We prove it with two proofs:

  • Breaking down the myth that sleep doesn’t require energy, nutritionist Cassie Bjork, founder of, says eating the right foods before bed can help you burn calories, suppress hunger enzymes and manage your weight.
  • In addition, Stephanie Maxson, a clinical dietitian at the University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Center, points out that fasting hypoglycemia not only disrupts sleep, but also leaves people sluggish or unwilling to wake up.

The two experts agree that eating something before bed helps keep blood sugar stable during sleep and is healthier.

Foods you need to avoid before sleeping

Hamburgers and fries.

Studies have shown that people who regularly eat a high-fat diet not only lead to weight gain, but also to abnormal sleep cycles. Therefore, it is best to avoid a high-fat diet.

Another study shows that if you eat too much food before you go to bed, your chances of becoming obese usually increase, and it is clear that you burn fewer calories while you sleep.


Coffee: there is no doubt that a cup of coffee at night may interfere with sleep. Even small amounts of caffeine can cause sleep disorders.

Caffeinated foods: not only do coffee contain caffeine, but these foods also need to be careful, such as chocolate, cola, tea, and coffee that claims to be decaf.

Drugs: some drugs may also contain caffeine, such as painkillers, weight loss drugs, diuretics, and cold medicine. These drugs may contain more caffeine than a cup of coffee. Check the directions of the medication you are taking. If it affects your sleep, consult your doctor for a change of medication or active treatment for insomnia.

To ensure a good night’s sleep, it’s best to avoid caffeine for four or six hours before bedtime.

Bedtime drinking.

The dilemma of drinking: alcohol can help the body fall asleep faster, but it can also make people wake up frequently, sleep restlessly, have headaches, night sweats, nightmares, and so on.

If you want to drink alcohol at night, drink every glass of wine and drink some water to dilute the alcohol in your stomach. Of course, to get a good night’s sleep, it’s best not to drink alcohol for four or six hours before bed.

Beware of indigestible and spicy food.

It is uncomfortable to lie in bed after eating because the digestive system slows down when you sleep. Not only will spicy food make your stomach uncomfortable, thus affecting sleep, eating too full can also lead to stomach distress.

If you want to eat a big meal, try to finish it at least 4 hours before you go to bed.

Eat less protein before bed.

Meat, protein is an important part of our daily diet, but it is not suitable for bedtime consumption.

High-protein, high-fat food is difficult to digest, so try to avoid this kind of food before going to bed. A cup of hot milk and some carbon-rich foods, such as biscuits, are good choices for bedtime.

Note: although we often say that milk is rich in protein, but this is only relative to other drinks, a glass of milk is actually not a lot of protein than an egg.

Limit fluid intake after 8 p.m.

Obviously, if you need to get up and go to the bathroom at night, the quality of your sleep will certainly not be so good.

Don’t smoke.

Nicotine is a stimulant and has a similar effect to caffeine. Don’t smoke at night, especially before going to bed or waking up in the middle of the night, which will make you more awake and difficult to sleep.

Food that helps you sleep

Since some foods can have side effects on your sleep, are there any foods that can help you sleep?

The answer is yes.

You can help your sleep by eating the following foods before going to bed, as mentioned above, in moderation.

A food rich in tryptophan, such as milk. 

Most people have heard that hot milk helps you sleep, but on what grounds? 

Dairy products such as milk help sleep mainly because of the tryptophan component. Tryptophan, an important amino acid required by the human body, is also found to be a sleep-promoting substance. 

Other foods rich in tryptophan include nuts, food seeds, bananas, honey and eggs. 


Carbohydrates are the easiest foods to digest compared to other foods such as fats and proteins. At night, eating a lot of high-fat and high-protein foods will cause your body organs to focus more on the digestive system than on sleep at bedtime. 

So, late at night if you want to snack, cereal with milk, yogurt with biscuits, or bread with yogurt is a good choice.

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Hello, I am a website editor. I've edited more than 10 websites in the last five years. My hobbies are health, life and website technology. For me, writing an article is part of my life.All articles on the page are based on scientific confirmation, not individual speculation, and more source comments will be added in the future.Thank you for reading!

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