Bedtime snacks are always a good idea. Hitting the sheets with a rumbling tummy will only keep you up for hours or disrupt your sleep. But the food choices you make at night are important because the wrong ones can seriously interfere with your sleep.
This is the worst thing you can have before bed over 40 if you’re trying to lose weight.
Sleep and weight loss actually go hand in hand, despite how the emphasis is almost always on diet and exercise. Proper sleep regulates the hormones that are responsible for making you feel full. It also keeps you from making poor snack choices when you feel the munchies settle in at odd times of the day.
The worst foods to eat at night before bed are those that will somehow disrupt your sleep patterns. And one major mistake is consuming a lot of alcohol at night.
Alcohol may make you feel sleepy, and it may even put you to sleep faster, but it is preventing you from sleeping as long as you normally would and getting the quality sleep you need.
According to the National Sleep Foundation: “While you may fall asleep quickly after drinking, it's also common to wake up in the middle of the night. One explanation is that alcohol may affect the normal production of chemicals in the body that trigger sleepiness when you’ve been awake for a long time, and subside once you’ve had enough sleep. After drinking, production of adenosine (a sleep-inducing chemical in the brain) is increased, allowing for a fast onset of sleep. But it subsides as quickly as it came, making you more likely to wake up before you’re truly rested.”
In addition to messing with your REM sleep, alcoholic beverages are examples of empty calorie foods: they are high in calories and sugar, but don’t give back in terms of nutrients. It takes time to process and digest all of that sugar, which spikes blood sugar levels. Once that sugar rush subsides, you are left craving more sugar and simple carbs to sustain that high (so don’t be surprised if you wake up in the middle of the night ravished).
In order to avoid alcohol-induced sleep interruptions, make sure you stop drinking about two hours prior to bed. And if you are craving a bedtime snack or meal, great choices include light protein-filled foods like turkey, milk, low-fat cheese sticks, nuts, and fruit with nut butter.