I am a nutritionist – the meals you need to NEVER eat earlier than mattress and why that cheeky biscuit is conserving you awake

WE all dream of getting an honest evening’s sleep, and as a lot as a bedtime ritual can assist present a strong slumber, what you eat earlier than mattress can have an effect too. 

Usually, ditching sugary or spicy meals, caffeine, and alcohol within the hours earlier than mattress is at all times really useful, however your go-to after dinner snack may be worse than you assume. 


A nutritionist reveals the late-night snacks that might be conserving you awakeCredit score: Getty
A tea and biscuit might be your guilty pleasure, but it could be the reason you're struggling to sleep


A tea and biscuit may be your responsible pleasure, nevertheless it might be the rationale you are struggling to sleepCredit score: Getty

“For those who do desire a small snack earlier than mattress, attempt to embody meals that include each protein and carbohydrates,” Rhiannon, a registered nutritionist and creator of The Science of Diet, advised Fabulous.

“All proteins include small quantities of the amino acid Tryptophan, which promotes sleep because it helps with the manufacturing of sleep-inducing hormones serotonin and melatonin. Nevertheless, for tryptophan to be efficient it must be eaten with a carbohydrate-based meals.”

Rhiannon, who’s additionally a podcast host of Meals For Thought, advised having a glass of heat milk, cheese on a slice of wholemeal toast, or a small handful of nuts and dried fruit.

Right here the consultants revealed to Fabulous precisely what you need to keep away from earlier than mattress and why your cheeky tea and biscuit might be the perpetrator. 

Tea and biscuits

Having a cup of tea simply earlier than mattress is a ritual for a lot of, nevertheless, this seemingly stress-free routine will have an effect on your sleep, in keeping with Daniel Harris, a nutritionist from on-line electrical bike retailer E-Bikes Direct

“Black tea accommodates caffeine, which acts as a stimulant, which means you expertise a sense of alertness simply earlier than mattress,” he mentioned. 

“In the same strategy to caffeine, sugar in biscuits additionally acts as a stimulant as glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream, which means extra probability you’ll get up instantly within the evening.”

Rhiannon mentioned that processed meals, generally, have this impact, together with biscuits, crisps and cake. 

“These easy sugars are digested a lot quicker within the physique and launch vitality extra rapidly. This may occasionally result in what we’d name a ‘sugar rush’, which when you’re making an attempt to wind down and fall asleep won’t be very useful,” she mentioned. 

As an alternative, select a tea with no caffeine and keep away from the biscuit totally, Daniel advised. 

“For those who can’t go with no late-night snack, then go for cherries, which produce melatonin and enable you sleep.”

Grapefruits and oranges

Extremely acidic fruits, comparable to grapefruit and oranges, are greatest prevented as they’ll trigger and worsen heartburn for a lot of. 

“These fruits are particularly dangerous as heartburn is worse when mendacity down anyway, so by consuming these meals too near bedtime you then threat an uncomfortable evening’s sleep,” Daniel mentioned. 

Sugar in biscuits additionally acts as a stimulant as glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream, which means extra probability you’ll get up instantly within the evening.

Daniel HarrisNutritionist

“For those who do undergo from heartburn, then ideally you need to keep away from consuming something two hours earlier than mattress, in any other case have a banana as an alternative. Bananas particularly enable you sleep, as they’re full of pure relaxants magnesium and potassium and are straightforward in your physique to digest.”

Fruit juices 

The consultants say to keep away from fruit juices late at evening together with orange, apple and pineapple, because the sugars in juice are absorbed rapidly into your bloodstream, this leads to a sudden surge after which a drop in vitality ranges. 

Daniel defined: “This shift in vitality causes your glands to launch stress hormones, which suggests you usually tend to get up instantly at evening, subsequently disrupting your sleep.

“For a late-night refreshment, keep on with water or milk which helps enhance the manufacturing of melatonin, the sleep hormone which helps management your sleep cycle.”


Sure cheeses ought to be prevented too near bedtime, however fortunately some truly make a perfect bedtime snack. 

“Robust cheese comparable to gouda accommodates an amino acid known as tyramine which will increase the manufacturing of stress hormones, resulting in elevated alertness, which is the very last thing you want earlier than going to mattress,” mentioned Daniel. 

Nevertheless, you don’t must keep away from all cheese, in reality, the parable that cheese causes nightmares is precisely that – a fantasy.

“As an alternative, select gentle cheeses comparable to cheddar or halloumi, as these aren’t recognized to trigger any unwanted side effects.”


After-dinner mints might look like the proper palate cleanser or peppermint tea could appear excellent for unwinding, however the actuality is that peppermint has extra of a stimulating impact, Daniel defined. 

He mentioned: “As an alternative of mint tea, go for a extra stress-free natural tea comparable to chamomile, jasmine or lavender tea, which all promote sleepiness.”


You may assume a glass of wine or a cheeky spirit helps you get to sleep, and it in all probability does as a result of alcohol has a sedative impact. 

However even ingesting even a small quantity of booze disrupts your sleep cycle, in keeping with the consultants. 

“When falling asleep too quickly after ingesting, you immediately enter a deep sleep, which suggests you lose out on the Fast Eye Motion (REM) sleep stage,” Daniel defined. 

To keep away from disrupted sleep, make sure you drink sufficient water to maintain hydrated in the course of the day and keep away from ingesting alcohol not less than 4 hours earlier than bedtime.

Daniel HarrisNutritionist

“This is a crucial restorative stage of sleep that our our bodies require, which is why we get up feeling extra sluggish.”

Rhiannon mentioned alcohol generally acts as a stimulant to the physique and will increase urge for food, which you actually don’t want while you’re making an attempt to go to sleep. 

That apart, Daniel mentioned it will increase urine manufacturing and makes you are feeling extra dehydrated so you may be waking up extra incessantly by way of the evening. 

“To keep away from disrupted sleep, make sure you drink sufficient water to maintain hydrated in the course of the day and keep away from ingesting alcohol not less than 4 hours earlier than bedtime,” Daniel mentioned. 

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Citrus fruits, such as oranges, can worsen heartburn so it's best to be avoided before bed


Citrus fruits, comparable to oranges, can worsen heartburn so it is best to be prevented earlier than mattressCredit score: Getty