21 June 2023 — Wellness

Sleep smarter: Foods to skip before bed

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for our overall well-being, and the foods we consume can significantly impact the quality of our sleep. While certain foods can promote better sleep, there are also food groups that we should avoid consuming before bedtime.

At INTU WELLNESS we are all about the balance, however if you’re looking for a deeper more restful sleep here are some top food groups to steer clear of before your head hits the pillow.

  1. Caffeine and Stimulants: As we all know, Caffeine is a well-known stimulant that can interfere with sleep. Found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and some sodas, caffeine can disrupt the natural sleep-wake cycle by blocking the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleepiness. If you’re a coffee lover, try enjoy them in the earlier hours of the day as it is advised to avoid consuming caffeine-containing beverages at least six hours before bedtime to allow enough time for its effects to wear off.
  2. Spicy and Greasy Foods: Consuming spicy and greasy foods close to bedtime can lead to discomfort and indigestion, making it harder to fall asleep. Spicy foods can cause heartburn and acid reflux, while greasy foods take longer to digest, leading to feelings of heaviness and bloating. To prevent these issues, it’s best to have your dinner earlier to avoid eating spicy and greasy foods at least two to three hours before bed.
  3. High-Sugar Foods and Desserts: Foods high in sugar, particularly refined sugars, can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. This sudden surge of energy can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep. Moreover, high-sugar foods can lead to a crash in blood sugar levels later on, potentially causing nighttime awakenings. It’s advisable to limit the consumption of sugary treats and desserts right before bed.
  4. Alcohol: Although alcohol is a sedative and may initially make you feel drowsy, it can disrupt the sleep cycle and prevent deep, restorative sleep. Alcohol interferes with the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep, and can also lead to increased bathroom trips during the night, interrupting sleep continuity. 
  5. Large Meals and Heavy Snacks: Eating large meals or heavy snacks shortly before bed can put a strain on your digestive system and cause discomfort. The body requires time to properly digest food, and lying down while digesting can lead to acid reflux and indigestion. To prevent sleep disturbances, it’s advisable to have your last meal or snack at least two to three hours before bedtime, allowing enough time for digestion to take place.

While a healthy diet is important for overall well-being, it’s equally crucial to be mindful of the foods we consume before bed to promote better sleep. By being conscious of your food choices and establishing healthy eating habits, you can enhance the chances of enjoying a rejuvenating and uninterrupted sleep, leading to improved energy and vitality during your waking hours.

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