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Diet & Fitness

8 Foods You Should Never Eat Before Bed

Groggy today, but not sure why? It may have something to do with what you ate for dinner last night. While it’s a well known fact that you shouldn’t be slamming coffee and sweets right before hitting the hay, it turns out a lot of healthy foods may also be preventing you from getting those ZZZs.

Cruciferous Vegetables

1. Cruciferous Vegetables

According to new research aggregated by Eat Clean, certain veggies are better eaten at lunch. Cruciferous vegetables-like broccoli and cauliflower-are loaded with vitamins that are great for you, but they also carry a large amount of insoluble fiber, which takes forever to digest. Holistic nutritionist Elissa Goodman explains that if you eat these vegetables before bed, “your body will still be working on digesting it while you drift off,” which will in turn keep you from getting a comfortable night of sleep.

2. Red Meat

Red meat, like steak or ground beef, is high in protein and has a similar effect on the body as the cruciferous vegetables mentioned above.

3. Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is another veggie-based favorite to avoid. Because of its high acidity, it’s often the cause of morning-after heartburn and indigestion. You can still eat a bowl of spaghetti for dinner, but dietitian Alissa Rumsey says it’s best to eat it at least 3 hours before going to bed. Spicy foods, which are also notorious for causing heartburn, make for an extra restless night of sleep because they raise your core body temperature. So if you’re wondering why you had a nightmare after munching on some spicy penne arrabiata, now you have an answer.

4. Cured Meats And Cheeses

Cured meats and cheeses are great for a daytime picnic, but not for dinner. If you planned on ending your day with a fabulous charcuterie platter, reconsider moving it to brunch: Cured meats and cheeses contains tyramine, an amino acid that makes you more alert.

5. Dark Chocolate

The sneaky devil-which can carry up to a quarter of the caffeine you’d find in an average cup of joe-also contains amino acid that makes you alert, similar to the one found in cured meats and cheeses. Basically, dark chocolate is double the energy, making it a much better snack for the afternoon than the middle of the night.

6. Coffee

This one should come as no surprise, but it’s actually your afternoon coffee drinking that can have more of an effect on your sleep than you would expect. Caffeine can remain in your system for hours, so it’s best to avoid it for several hours before going to bed.

7. Alcohol

Even though a glass of red wine can leave you feeling v. sleepy, alcohol is actually very disruptive to your sleep cycle and has negative effects on your later REM stages.

8. Soda

We’ve all heard it before: soda is really just not good for you. Despite it’s scary side effects, it’s also awful for falling asleep. It’s full on sugar, which leaves you wide awake, and has even been connected to restless sleep.

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