What Kind of Foods You Need to Avoid before Bed

food affects your sleep

Many older people have some sleep problems, such as insomnia, more dreams, poor sleep quality, frequent waking at night, etc. One of the main causes of sleep problems is eating certain foods at night before going to bed. According to research, trying not to eat food before going to bed at night, or avoiding certain foods before bed, is very helpful for improving sleep quality. So you may be wondering how long before your bedtime to stop eating? Or what kind of foods exactly should you avoid eating before bedtime? Now let’s take a look at them.

Part 1. How long before your bedtime to stop eating?

According to Cleveland Clinic, you’d better to stop eating about three hours before going to bed, it allows plenty of time for you to digest the food you ate. However, if you ate your last meal too early, it also can be a concern. If you’re going to bed hungry, that can also disrupt your sleep.

Basically, how long before your bedtime to stop eating really depends on your day. If you eat earlier in the day, your last meal is at 7 p.m., or if you are get used to eating late, your last meal is at 9 p.m. or later, it’s that three-hour window that’s most important.

Part 2. What kinds of food you need to avoid before bed?

A bad diet before going to bed will directly affect the quality of sleep, so there are 5 kinds of foods that are best not to eat in order to get a good night's sleep.

1. Nuts

Nuts are rich in unsaturated fatty acids, but they can easily lead to acid reflux, so try to eat less or no nuts such as walnuts, peanuts, and pistachios before going to bed, especially for those who have acid reflux symptoms.


2. Acidic juice

Drinking acidic juices such as orange juice and apple juice before going to bed can also easily cause acid reflux and disrupt your sleep.

3. Chocolate

Chocolate is a high-fat food, containing caffeine and theobromine, which are classified as "stimulants". The average residence time of these substances in your body is 3 to 5 hours or even longer. Especially dark chocolate, eating them before bed can make it difficult to fall asleep.

4. Alcohol

The main component of alcohol is ethanol. After drinking wine or other alcohol-contained beverages before going to bed, ethanol enters your brain with the blood, destroying neuron cells, making the brain excited for a long time so that you cannot fall asleep or sleep well.


5. Broccoli

Broccoli has high nutritional value and strong disease prevention effect. The ascorbic acid it contains can enhance the detoxification function of the liver and improve immunity. At the same time, broccoli is also a food for preventing cancer. However, broccoli is rich in fiber and takes a long time to digest. Eating it before bed can easily cause bloating symptoms and affect sleep.

Part 3. What kind of food you can eat before bed?

In some cases, what if you just want to eat before going to bed? Or if you feel hungry before bed, what kind of food can you eat?

  • Milk or yogurt

Both milk and Yogurt are rich in protein as well as calcium, low in calories, and some study find that including calcium in your diet can make it easier to fall asleep.

  • Fruit

Some certain fruits may also help you sleep better. Research suggests that consumption of pineapple, oranges and bananas increased melatonin production about two hours later, which help you fall asleep quickly.


  • Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a valuable bedtime snack, rich in magnesium as well as melatonin, which are known as the sleep hormone. Making small bowl of cereal mixed with a little dried fruit is perfect.



Generally, you are likely to have no exercise 3 hours before going to bed. After this time, what you eat is basically stored as fat. The body consumes very little energy during sleep. If you eat before going to bed, you will undoubtedly turn most of it into fat, so it is best not to eat 3 hours before going to bed, otherwise you will not only gain weight, but also affect your sleep quality. At the same time, some foods as we mentioned above you should avoid before going to bed, if you really want to eat, you can eat some yogurt, fruit, oatmeal, etc.