5 Tips to Prevent Sweets from Wrecking Your Sleep
The arrival of fall means a lot of things: pumpkin spice lattes, sweaters, football, Halloween and a lot of candy. While all of these autumn staples are very enjoyable, when and how often you enjoy them must be kept in check. Too much of a good thing can be bad for your health AND your sleep. We’ve outlined just a few tips to keep in mind this season so you can stay healthy, sleep soundly and still have fun!
1. Avoid chocolate as a quick bedtime snack. A lot of people like to satisfy their sweet tooth at the end of the night, but the reality is almost all chocolate contains some level of caffeine. In addition to caffeine, chocolate also contains theobromine, which is a compound known to make your heart race. If you’re a sensitive sleeper, the effects of chocolate will likely take your energy levels on a roller coaster ride and disrupt your sleep in the process.
2. Size matters. If you must splurge on your sweets, do it early in the day. Letting your late-night snack become a late-night meal can make for an unsettling night of sleep. A helpful tip is to keep the calorie intake under 200 just before bed so you won’t have trouble falling and staying asleep.
3. Do you like milk and cookies before bed? Choose oatmeal raisin! Aside from being a delicious treat, a glass of milk and an oatmeal cookie have been shown to overcome sleep disorders. Milk and oatmeal cookies provide complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber and calcium all in one snack! Lastly, eating food and drink that boosts the levels of trypothan in your brain helps induce sleep so you’re calm and relaxed all night long.
4. Don’t scare yourself from going to bed by watching too many horror movies. Sleeping less than 7 hours per night can disrupt your ability to regulate appetite. The result? Overeating and consuming empty calories (i.e. digging into the candy stash!).
5. Halloween parties, making costumes, going to haunted houses and carving pumpkins are all fun, but they can also take away from a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprived people consume on average 250-400 extra calories per day. Do the math: 3,500 calories=1 pound; so, on average you’d gain a pound every 2 weeks. Doesn’t sound too healthy, does it?
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