Is your child always staying up late and is groggy the next day despite good sleep schedules? What your child ate before sleep might have something to do with it! We all very well know that coffee and candies right before bed can shoo away that ZZZs, but it turns out there is some healthy food too on the list. Let’s take a look at the food to avoid before bedtime.
Caffeine is a sneaky sleep killer that can remain in your system for hours! Even that afternoon cup of coffee your kid had can disturb the night sleep. While coffee is an obvious caffeine, chocolate, granola bars, energy drinks, sodas, and teas are other caffeine carriers that you have to watch out for. Abstain from these for at least 8 hours before your bedtime to get a good undisturbed sleep.
Caffeine is also a diuretic, that encourages frequent trips to the loo. If you are going through potty training or are concerned about bed-wetting, it is yet another reason why the kids should stay away from caffeine.
You can also find caffeine hidden in medicines – Dolopar, Dolo, and Crocin Pain Relief are some common medicine with caffeine.
While many little ones crave cheese at all times of day, it is actually better to stay away from aged or strong cheese before bedtime. This is because, aged cheese is rich in tyramine, which causes brain stimulants to be released, making your little ones alert and wide awake. Other foods rich in tyramine are ham, pepperoni, bacon, nuts, avocado, soy sauce, raspberries, and red wine.
According to research, some veggies are better for lunch than for dinner. Cruciferous veggies, like cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, greens, radishes, and brussels sprouts are full of tough fibers that are very good for the body, but not at night time. The digestion of high-calorie meals raises our body temperature, while good sleep requires cooler temperatures. This clash can lead to a fitful sleep.
4. Spicy Food
Very spicy food can trigger digestion problems in children. Along with indigestion or frequent stools, stomach irritation can cause temporary insomnia in kids. But strangely, the heat of chili peppers is also found to be good in soothing arthritis pains and fibromyalgia – so a mildly spicy food that does not disturb the stomach is alright!
5. Sugars and Sweets
Too much sugar is bad, whether it is during the day or at the night. Sugary food like desserts, sodas, and candies send our blood sugars to a spiking high. When they come crashing down after a few hours, our body goes to flight or fight thinking there’s an emergency. This flooding of adrenal cortisol can interfere with sleep and leave your kid wide awake at the darkest hours.
You might be wondering who in their right mind will give kids alcohol before bed, but we all do. In the form of cough and pain syrups. Most pediatric and adult cough and analgesic syrups contain different levels of alcohol. Alcohol prevents deep sleep (REM) and causes frequent waking up through the nights.
Decongestants are another medication that are commonly responsible for insomnia in adults and kids. Benadryl, Ferrous Sulfate (Iron) and seizure syrups are some common medicine containing alcohol. Check out our Indian home remedies for cold and cough in infants here.
7. Heavy fatty and salty meals
A full fat meal is a wonderful nourishment for growing kids, but not right before bed. The time at which we eat our meals has a significant effect on our health.
- Late night meals and midnights snacks are more prone to go straight to fat storage than to breakdown for energy (risk of obesity).
- Hitting the bed right after a meal is also a major cause of heartburn and acid reflux, some of the biggest sleep disruptors. It is also a risk factor for GERD.
- A research at the University of California found that mice who were fed at bedtime more than the 11 AM to 7 PM showed significant adverse effects on memorization and learning. Eating late impaired memory formation in mice; comparable research on humans have not been conducted yet.
It is always advisable to finish your largest meal 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. You can always munch on a fruit right before bed to keep your satiated.
Which food in this list was a surprise to you? Let us know in the comments below!