How to sleep: If you are hungry in bed, should you eat?

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This hunger can compound that feeling of finding it difficult to fall asleep. If you find yourself in such a situation, is it better to have a snack, or will this just make it harder to sleep?

A number of nutritionists answered the question for

Remaining hungry will actually make it harder to sleep, due to the release of stress hormones.

So, getting up to have a snack is the right thing to do.

Award-winning nutritional therapist Christine Bailey said: “We don’t want people to go to bed starving.

“If you’re starving, and your blood glucose levels really dip then you’re going to start producing a lot of cortisol and cortisol.

“This is the stress hormone, and will block melatonin.”

Cortisol makes you feel stressed and makes it much harder to sleep, as well as a transition from light sleep into a deep sleep.

It raises adrenaline too, making you feel hotter and your heart rate plummet. Both of these will hamper your ability to sleep.

Melatonin, on the other hand, is what controls the body’s sleep cycle.

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Christine went on: “So you need to have something to eat, you don’t want to be starving but equally, don’t want to be overfull.”

So, what should you eat to help you sleep?

Best foods to each before bed

Rosie Millen told the best foods to eat before bed if you are very hungry.

She said: “The best foods to consider before going to bed – especially if you are hungry are almonds, cherries, and chamomile tea.

“Cherries contain melatonin, almonds contain good amounts of magnesium which helps the muscles to relax and chamomile tea is very calming on the body.”

Dr Michael Mosley on the importance of routine for sleep

Foods to eat before bed

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Turkey
  • Fatty fish
  • Chamomile tea
  • Kiwi
  • Tart cherry juice
  • White rice
  • Passionflower tea

Foods to avoid before bed

Certain foods will stop you from being able to sleep. They include:

  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Spicy foods
  • Cheese
  • Citrus fruit
  • Fried food

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