Look, we’re all guilty of reaching for a pre-bed snack but according to one set of pros, what you eat could have a massive impact not only on how you sleep, but also your heating bills?
While certain foods can warm you up (more on that later), there are others that will do quite the opposite – so when you’re trying to stay toasty before you go to sleep, there are some foods in particular you should try to avoid if you don’t want to feel shivery during the night, according to sleep experts Bed Kingdom.
What not to eat before bed
When it comes to planning your dinner before bed, don’t reach for a salad. That might sound obvious but water-rich fruit and veg are known to cool the body, including cucumber, celery, watermelon, oranges and peaches.
The same goes for leafy green vegetables such as kale and cabbage – they might be healthy, but they’re best avoided before bed due to their cooling effect on the body.
Smoothies are a no-go, too – berries are alkaline, meaning that they generate cold energy and release excess body heat.
While you might think food that packs a punch will warm you from the inside that’s a total misconception according to the pros – spicy foods such as jalapenos and cayenne peppers surprisingly make us cooler by activating a nerve receptor in our tongue that can recognise heat, thus causing us to sweat and cool us down.
But we won’t be total buzzkills – there are foods that are really great for a good night’s sleep.
The best foods to warm you up before bed
It’s no coincidence that cinnamon is associated with winter – thanks to its thermogenic properties that increase our body’s heat when it’s cold, it’s perfect to consume before bed. An easy way to enjoy it before bed is to have a sprinkle in a glass of milk at night-time – thanks to the tryptophan in milk (which induces sleep) you’ll also find it easier to rest.
Oats may be something that you would normally have at the start of the day, but they have several benefits that prove useful for bedtime. They are slow to break down in your body due to being high in bran and fibre, and this slow digestion releases warming energy, keeping you warm throughout the night and will stop you from turning the radiators up. Maybe add a sprinkle of cinnamon to it, eh?
Ginger is another excellent food you can consume to warm you up before you catch some Zs. Ginger helps your blood vessels relax, which in turn contributes to an increased blood flow, helping your body to heat up. Opt for a ginger tea – and if you’re suffering from a stuffy nose due to the weather, this will ease that to help you sleep better as well.
Wanting to be a bit healthier before bed? Filled with vitamin B and magnesium, bananas help with the functioning of your thyroid and adrenal glands, thus regulating your body temperature in the cold weather. In fact, the high levels of magnesium don’t just keep you warm, but they also help your muscles to relax and calm your body to ensure you get to sleep easily.