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Love chocolates? Make sure you don’t nosh on them before bed. Here’s why

Published on:25 March 2021, 18:15pm IST
You might be a big fan of chocolate, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But make sure to avoid it before bedtime, because that’s a terrible, terrible idea.
Geetika Sachdev
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Avoid chocolate before going to bed if you want restful sleep. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Most of us love chocolates, don’t we? A good bar of chocolate can solve all the problems in the world, or that’s what we’d like to believe. The urge to have it rises especially at night and most of us are guilty of indulging in it before bedtime. Sounds harmless, doesn’t it? Well, the sad news is it’s exactly the opposite because chocolate before bed can really mess with your sleep.

Experts suggest that eating chocolate after 5 pm is a bad idea. We know you’re crying out loud, just like we did when we heard this piece of news. Oh, and dark chocolate is banned too. Yes, this variety of chocolate has a whole lot of health benefits, but reserve it for a small treat post-lunch.

You must be wondering why so much drama around chocolate before bedtime? Well, that’s because chocolate contains caffeine, which makes it hard to fall asleep. And when you do not get deep sleep, you don’t feel rested. According to research, your body tries to process caffeine, sugar and fat, all the same time, when it’s time to ideally slow down.

Although chocolate has a compound called theobromine that helps to lower your risk of heart disease and insulin resistance, caffeine is the culprit.

What is the best thing to do?

Remember every person’s body is different. For some, having caffeine at night has no impact, while for others, even a small amount can interfere with their shut-eye. So, if you have trouble falling asleep, we suggest you steer clear of it for sure.

chocolate before bedtime
Also, make sure you practice moderation. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Here’s a tip that will help: don’t eat chocolate at least three hours before bedtime. This will ensure that there’s enough time to digest your food before you sleep. We already know eating a large meal before bedtime can heavily impact your sleep. Now, we aren’t saying you need to go hungry to bed. So, if those hunger pangs strike, just have a small piece of banana or some peanut butter.

Here are some other foods that will help promote sleep
  • Almonds: This dry fruit contains high doses of melatonin that helps regulate your sleep. What’s more, almonds also contain magnesium and calcium, two minerals that help with muscle relaxation and sleep. They are also low in sugar and saturated fats.
  • Warm milk: This is a remedy that has been followed for generations, and for good reason. Milk contains tryptophan, calcium, vitamin D, and melatonin, all of which promote sleep. You could switch to low-fat milk if you like, since it is low in calories.
  • Kiwi: Studies show that consuming kiwi helps to promote restful sleep. As per a study, people who ate two kiwis one hour before bedtime for four weeks improved their total sleep time and efficiency, and also took less time to fall asleep.
  • Chamomile tea: Chamomile tea is a great solution for insomnia. That’s because it contains flavonoids that help to promote sleep. The primary flavonoid, apigenin is said to activate GABA A receptors that make it easier for you to fall asleep.

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.